Take time to read, contemplate

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by Sheree Priddy

“The high-ceilinged rooms, the little balconies, alcoves, nooks and angles all suggest sanctuary, escape, creature comfort. The reader, the scholar, the browser, the borrower is king.” (David McCord)

When I was growing up, I often heard the adage to “stop and smell the roses.” How easy is this to do in 2014 when you have children to run to this activity while you have a deadline to meet at work, when you want to provide healthy meals for your family but have no idea how you’ll find the time to cook, or even what in the world you can prepare since you forgot to thaw out something that would be ready when you finally walk through the front door? 

And this does not even include finding the time (and energy) to volunteer and “give back” in some way to your community or church. There are so many things that we want to do, but we are stretched to our limits on how to do this and actually keep our sanity.  

I can remember being with my grandmother and sitting under the tree in the front yard while she read her Bible. She had a place that suggests “sanctuary” to me.  I personally think that we all need to find this place to escape to in order to deal with the chaos and demands of our society.  

A person who makes this a priority in his or her life has understood the value of contemplation. The one who doesn’t block off time to be alone is like the person in a hurricane who made no plan for his own safety even though he had heard the warnings of the coming turbulence. 

This brings me to the point of my article, and the title of my column. The above quote by David McCord is a reminder of what a library can be for all of us: a place to be quiet, to escape either through a book or a magazine.  

Couches and chairs await you if you need a place to just be. I love this analogy because it does suggest that, in a library, you can simply read or browse, but you can also be a scholar and learn things about which you had no previous knowledge, and according to Mr. McCord, become a king when you borrow a book.

Books Fall Open (also by David McCord)

Books fall open,

you fall in,

delighted where,

you’ve never been.

Hear voices 

not once heard before,

Reach world through world,

through door on door.

Find unexpected 

keys to things,

locked up beyond


True books will venture, 

Dare you out,

Whisper secrets,

Maybe shout

Across the gloom,

To you in need

Who hanker for

A book to read.