Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Joys of Old Books

In the last couple of weeks, I've been reading two old books. One is My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, published in 1956. The other is an English textbook called Writing Good Sentences by Claude W. Faulkner, which I borrowed from a teacher who lives down the street from me.

I love a new book, hot off the press. I especially love my new books. :) But...after reading these two books, I am reminded that there is simple joy in reading what others have read before me. I love the fact that this memoir by Gerald Durrell has been sitting on the shelf of the library for years and years. How many people before me have read and enjoyed it?

And I love using a textbook that a seasoned English teacher has found helpful over the years. I think about her students, the quiet time she spent grading papers, and how she taught her lessons.

The words sit there quietly on the bookshelf, waiting for a reader. And then, the story opens up in the imagination of that person who picks up the book and reads.

1 comment:

  1. I love old books, especially old childrens' books and old English language handbooks/texts. The language tends to have a grace and precision that is missing in modern texts. My favorite is one from 1904 that I got at a garage sale for less than a dollar. :)