Bibliophilia

We love books. In fact our favorite part of living in America rather than the African bush is probably the library. I know. Sad. Hermits. Antisocial. HOMESCHOOLERS. 🙂 But really, books are incredibly windows to the world. Portals to the imaginary worlds of others. Windows to social, political and economic ideas we’ve not yet known to think about. When we go to the library, we spend almost an hour perusing shelves madly. You might see me breathing heavily as I stack more and more books onto the little library table. Yes we are THOSE people.

When we reach home it’s just like my childhood library days. Books strewn over the living room as we retreat into hours of reading together and alone. We punctuate excited silences with exclamations over new findings in our individual books. Our next meal is usually a “reading” meal where books are brought to the table in lieu of conversations. New synapses fire between neurons in our brains and we almost-visibly expand with discoveries.

So what do we read? Here’s a few excerpts from our current stacks:

Ghost in the Wires is the memoir of the world’s most wanted hacker . . . . a guy who started back in the days before there were computer monitors. I found this on the “new books” shelving and snatched it up for David/Quinn/Me – it has surprisingly become our new read a loud. I found the prologue so interesting I shared it at the lunch table and suddenly we were all reading the book together. A fascinating and enthralling story of social engineering, intelligence and a misused gift redeemed. We have to edit out all the curse words and sex references as we read it to the kids but the story makes it worthwhile . . . .

I was shocked to find a book about the Louisianna Purchase on the graphic novels shelf. For several years now I’ve felt secretly embarrassed that my now nine year old shies away from novels and prefers cartoons. I have thought he wouldn’t be a “REAL” reader until he was immersed in the full length stories his sister devours. But after studying his learning style (right brained kinesthetic) and finding that his love of encyclopedias and comics likely has everything to do with his brain formation and little to do with his discipline or intelligence, I have embraced his style. Now instead of steering him away from the manga and towards the Hardy Boys chapter books I am joining him in the comic section and looking for books too. This led me to my discovery of the history book above which fits in exactly with what we are learning right now at home and with his interests. Yay!

My current read is Nomad, From Islam to America, a Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations.
I was originally drawn to the name, then slightly interested in the sub-title. The book has turned out to be so much better than I expected. A treatise on Islam by a Somalian woman now living in the States but once involved in the political scene in Holland. She shares, movingly, the plight of Islamic women both abroad and here in the western world. She argues vociferously that we should respect islamic culture less and advocate for their women more. She is one of the only people in the world who can speak so boldly, so broadly and so authoritatively and empathicaly on this issue. She does it beautifully. She is also an atheist. As I read I find my spirit once again drawn to Somalia, to Africa, and to M—–s. I understand so much and yet so little of what she writes. She makes me think, dream and imagine. She is not constrained by the limitations of our current society. She is a voice for good. I can’t wait to see the one true God get a hold of her heart, and I pray as I read for her to have encounters with Jesus in the night.

A coffee table book, Time’s 100 greatest places, has allowed us to travel a little this week too. As we pore over the pages we eagerly spot places we have been and others we long to go to. We connect things we have read or heard about in school or conversations or on movies with the actual photos and once again we make more connections in our brains. The beauty of this book is truly good and it has made us better people. I don’t know how to describe the way a book such as this drives us to interceed for the world and to imagine our place in changing it for the Kingdom. We live one piece lives, or seek to, and books make it even easier. Yes, in this family: We. Love. Books.

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