Conversing with Aloysius

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I explained to my boy that the practice of stockpiling books we’ve already read (his main concern, judging by the inciting question) is way down on my list of library benefits. It’s definitely on the list, but it isn’t the chief end of my book hoarding. Except for the few gems that fit into the “reread as often as you can” category, a library full of previously read books can easily become a sort of in-home monument—vaguely commemorating past accomplishments, having no real present purpose.

In contrast, the array of books in our home is intended for ongoing, well-rounded usefulness. They’re there to show us what’s possible, not venerate what’s already been. Even the history books, which are expressly about what has already been, are there to light an inquisitive fuse and point us forward into new exploits.

So my library has a diverse lot of books and, more importantly, an open invitation to the kids: Come; stoke your interest in all kinds of incredible things! Curious about those wall paintings you saw in the pyramids on TV? Let’s look through this book of hieroglyphs and learn how to write our names. Wondering what I’m talking about when I say your runny nose is caused by a virus? Well check out this picture of one of the little menaces right here in my old virology book (and yes, it is freaky that this guy is attacking your nose right now). Not following what we’re talking about in family worship? Look at this, the Bible atlas shows exactly where it happened so you can picture the scene better.

So it goes, on and on.

Scott James, “The Virtue of Unread Books” (via wesleyhill)

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If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.
Martin Luther

Filed under Christianity Religion Grace Faith

2 notes

[O]n Tumblr and Facebook, we seek out the same private sociality that Woolf described. Usually, we think of social media as a forum for exhibitionism. But, inevitably, the extroverted cataloguing of everyday minutiae—meals, workouts, thoughts about politics, books, and music—reaches its own limits; it ends up emphasizing what can’t be shared. Talking so freely about your life helps you to know the weight of those feelings which are too vague, or too spiritual, to express—left unspoken and unexplored, they throw your own private existence into relief. ‘Sharing’ is, in fact, the opposite of what we do: like one of Woolf’s hostesses, we rehearse a limited openness so that we can feel the solidity of our own private selves.
Joshua Rothman, here.

Filed under Privacy Social media Solitude Virginia Woolf

33 notes


Gnomesville, Ferguson Valley, Western Australia. It all started with some tourists leaving couple of gnomes on the side of the road and now there are thousands to be viewed. It’s such a magical place to explore.


(via gnomeculture)