Sunday, December 11, 2005

Books Books Books, I'm looking for the good times

I love Books. I love reading them, browsing them, flicking through them, nodding sagely at books that I've already read, gasping excitedly at discovering a book I've been meaning to read, pulling it off the shelf and immersing myself in it even for a few brief moments.

The first place I home in on when I walk into someone's house is their bookshelf. I barely say hello, often forget to scrape off the doggy-do from my tainted shoes, such is my haste. Any girl who can't share that desire, that unquenchable thirst for knowledge and childish yearning to discover more is not for me. Sorry Pamela, you got the wrong Kid, though this one does also Rock!

I'll read history, philosophy, faction, fiction, really really bad trashy fiction that you are too embarassed to tell anyone but you secretly love. Biographies, classics, not-yet-classics, harry potters, science, Torah related books on a variety of subjects. An eclectic mix that broadens my horizons, tantalizes me, expands my experience and enriches my world.

I can't imagine a world without books, a wintery friday night without something to curl up to and escape the pounding rain, a long summer Shabbat afternoon in the garden with a cold coke and a good book. Long live google, bring on the World Electronic Library but don't take away my books.

Some of you will be nodding right now. WAKE UP! But seriously, not everyone is as lucky as me. There are those who did not really grow up with reading books as a part of their life. Nowadays many spend their time boggle-eyed on IM and reading every sports page available just in case someone else thinks the Colts won't make 16-0.

Others have been very restricted in what they can read. I've been into these people's houses. A fair number of them grew up in open homes, with a liberal tolerant philosphy as to what they could read, but due to various pressures, more social than religious, they no longer keep anything unkosher on their shelves. I understand the attitude, I just can't agree with it. It is G-d's world we are reading about here. I might post another time about how important questioning and discovering outside inspiration is to improving Emunah, but Ein Kan Makom Lehaarich.

I recently heard about the Book Thing. What an incredible idea. I think we should spread this idea across the world. Especially in Jerusalem, I remember not finding a library in Jerusalem, and I think the idea of an open book place for people to donate or take books as they please would be fantastic. Any volunteers?

Thank you L-rd for providing us with this wonderful vehicle for transmitting knowledge and for granting us Johannes Gutenberg without whom our lives would be much poorer.

p.s. anyone know the song reference in the title?

a rejewvenated TRK


At 12/11/2005 3:28 PM, Blogger Karl said...

Did you ever hear about the phenomena of leaving books in places, with your name inside and a note telling the finder to read it and pass it on, but to contact you (or something like that). There is some website for it as well. A sort of book swap but to no one in particular. Leaving partcular books in specific places. Someone must know what I'm talking about.

Song reference: Sabrina, Boys ?

At 12/11/2005 3:34 PM, Blogger ClooJew said...

My time is so precious, and I read so slowly, that, lulei demistafina, I have to be careful how I budget my time.

You would probably like "The Tipping Point" and "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell, both currently on the NYT best seller list for non fiction.

At 12/11/2005 3:36 PM, Anonymous Chai said...

Karl, it's called It's great, but not popular in my area...

At 12/11/2005 6:02 PM, Blogger Littleredridinghoodie said...

Paul Erdman and Jeffrey Archer are two of my favorites... Otherwise, unless it is no health related or Tehilim I have not been doing much reading lately.

At 12/11/2005 7:05 PM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

ClooJew: The Tipping Point is one of my favorite books. Actually, its one of the reasons I blog now.

It made me realize that I'm one of the characters in the book...

At 12/11/2005 8:12 PM, Blogger Mata Hari said...

hey trk - i feel like you're describing me...exactly. i'll read the print on the cereal boxes if i have to. i also gravitate to the bookshelves first thing...and i love bookstores and libraries - just walking around and browsing.

At 12/11/2005 8:36 PM, Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

I have a serious book problem. At least some might call it that. I tend to buy books books and more books. Sometimes I buy a few books at a time, and some go unread until one day when I'm looking at my bookshelf for something to read. And sometimes I find that one good book that I'd rather not finish, but I can't put down until I do.

At 12/11/2005 9:00 PM, Anonymous Navi Sheker said...

TRK, I think MH is your gal...

At 12/11/2005 9:54 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

Karl, sounds like an interesting idea - and well done on the 80's music reference.

CJ, I read TTP and wasn't convinced, but Ein Kan Makom Lehaarich.

Chai, maybe you should start it up?

LRH, I think I've read all of JA's books, great, pacy stuff. I don't know PE but will look out for him.

Jameel, what are you? the maven of right wing fanatacism? or are you one of those hippies in the village wearing hush-puppies?

MH, everyone reads the cereal boxes during brekkie - I think they should print short stories on them.

EC, it's a compulsion but it's better than drugs or gambling. It's important to have plenty to read, one day when you're down you'll pick up a book that inspires you to get up and carry on.

Navi Sheker, I think you are stoned (Tartey mashmah).

Hat tip to shoshy the sweet rose for the link to the book thing.


At 12/12/2005 12:16 AM, Blogger dietgarage said...

i grew up being allowed to read whatever i wanted, whenever i wanted... i think that is the only proper way... a good book and a cozy blanket and im on cloud nine

At 12/12/2005 7:04 AM, Blogger Shopaholic said...

I can SO relate! I LOVE reading. In school a few of us got together and we had this whole book club going It was great. But now I'm finding it harder and harder to find a GOOD book. (fiction) I think I've read them (and own them)all.
dietgarage-Yes! When I was growing up everyone knew that If they didn't hear me, or see me- I was up in my room reading. (which was quite

At 12/12/2005 9:33 AM, Blogger Littleredridinghoodie said...

This post reminds me of a book I read when I was in 3rd grade called "From Anna"

Die Gedanken sind frei
My thoughts freely flower,
Die Gedanken sind frei
My thoughts give me power.
No scholar can map them,
No hunter can trap them,
No man can deny:
Die Gedanken sind frei!

I think as I please
And this gives me pleasure,
My conscience decrees,
This right I must treasure;
My thoughts will not cater
To duke or dictator,
No man can deny--
Die Gedanken sind frei!

And if tyrants take me
And throw me in prison
My thoughts will burst free,
Like blossoms in season.
Foundations will crumble,
The structure will tumble,
And free men will cry:
Die Gedanken sind frei!

Neither trouble or pain
Will ever touch me again.
No good comes of fretting,
My hope's in forgetting.
Within myself still
I can think as I will,
But I laugh, do not cry:
Die Gedanken sind frei!

At 12/12/2005 9:54 AM, Anonymous Navi Sheker said...

Did you mean tartey mishma?

They tried, they tried...

At 12/12/2005 9:54 AM, Anonymous Navi Sheker said...

Did you mean tartey mishma?

They tried, they tried...

At 12/12/2005 10:08 AM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

dg, I know we discussed this before, but what about those poor people who are restricted in what they can read?

shoppy, I can't believe you have run out - you must read really quickly or have a very small local library!

LRH, great stuff, as always.

NS, I meant you must be stoned (as in drugged) and you must be stoned (for being a navi sheker) - I hate explaining my oh so witty gags


At 12/12/2005 10:19 AM, Blogger Sara said...

I've always just read read read. I read wherever I am, it never matters how loud it is. In a power outage I'm found huddled under the emergency bulbs finishing the last fifty pages.
I agree about the cereal boxes. Some penny-dreadful-type mystery series would be great on the back.

At 12/12/2005 10:48 AM, Blogger Shopaholic said...

TRK-Email me some authors. I'll tell you if I've read him/her.

At 12/12/2005 11:39 AM, Blogger Littleredridinghoodie said...

I remember being restricted, my mom was a feminist with a classic outlook on life. I was not allowed to have Barbie dolls (my grandmother used to buy them for me and we hid them) I could wear denim but not acid wash (thanks to grandma I hid those in my locker at school - grew up in the 80’s) anything trendy or trashy or lacey or "Madona" was out. When I was 11yrs old, I was not allowed to read sweet valley twins/high books (Especially not on Shabbat! I would have been the first crucified female) There was this one book called the older guy that I borrowed from a friend and hid under my covers with a flashlight (I thought they couldn't see me lol) my mother took it away. It was even more embarrassing explaining to my friend, WHY I could not return it. My TV viewing was also restricted, I was not allowed to watch Three's company because of the liberal living arrangements. But I was allowed to see Remington Steel the woman behind the man message.. (my all time favorite) and Knight rider my two big childhood crushes Pierce Brosnan (looks like my dad) and David Hasselhoff. As well as Magnum PI, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Mac Guyver and Disney. Then there was the list of things/people "we" DO support and Don't. VALUES SUCK!!!

At 12/12/2005 11:46 AM, Blogger chavaleh said...

TRK - I'm with you. I love the fact random people who visit my house are treated to the view of a book on dwarf rabbits sitting peacefully alongside 'harry potter', the mishna brura, and a book on Scotch whiskey. Let me know any time you want to get the book thing started in Jtown.

At 12/12/2005 1:26 PM, Anonymous Navi Sheker said...

Like I said:

They tried, and they tried ;)

At 12/12/2005 1:59 PM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

Just today I picked up two books in Eichlers... I am in need of spirituality in between my People and US Weekly lol... so my choices:

Thoughts to Ponder: Daring Observations About The Jewish Tradition by Nathan Lopes Cardozo


The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology I

Anyone want to read along with me so we can blog and comment later?

At 12/12/2005 2:01 PM, Blogger A Frum Idealist said...

sounds like fun, frumgirl.
Which one do you plan on reading first?

At 12/13/2005 4:48 AM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...


Maybe you can write some and submit them to Kellogs?


interesting to hear that. I'm sure many others were restricted, I'd like to hear their views as well.


don't wait for me to make aliyah, get it started!


do not give that man any more cocaine (film ref anyone?)


Rabbi NLC rocks. let us know what you think.


At 12/14/2005 8:14 AM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

and Navi Sheker, I should be so lucky!

At 12/14/2005 7:18 PM, Blogger dietgarage said...

i would hate to have been so restricted LRH.. i know people who were treated both ways by there parents and i dont think it makes that much of a difference long-term
..If you are meant to discover the joys of reading and music and culture youll do so regardless
(and you can retain a connection to torah)

At 12/15/2005 4:52 PM, Blogger Littleredridinghoodie said...

Funny thing is my mother was not resticted, grandma was a Lady but not a prude, she was only restricted he children regarding manners. So growing up we never had dinner time or any routine, also my mom always went to a hotel for holidays and she thought she was doing us a favor by not making us go to the hotel.

I guess the grass is always greener and we are all rebels.

At 12/15/2005 4:52 PM, Blogger Littleredridinghoodie said...

Funny thing is my mother was not resticted, grandma was a Lady but not a prude, she was only restricted he children regarding manners. So growing up we never had dinner time or any routine, also my mom always went to a hotel for holidays and she thought she was doing us a favor by not making us go to the hotel.

I guess the grass is always greener and we are all rebels.

At 12/30/2005 1:01 PM, Blogger iSrAeLiWannab said...

i love reading. i used to read all the time when i was younger, but then i got friends and i stopped reading for like 5 years. ive started again but i HATE jewish books with a passion and besides harry potter the only books i love are nicholas sparks. can u guys recommend a/t?

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