Old books never die. Apparently, they just go to my bookshelf to rest between readings.
I like a new book, I like the smell of the new pages, I like having to use my fingernail to separate the papers that haven’t been separated since they were printed. But I also love worn books – books that I refer to time and time again.
These are the 10 old books that are on my shelf that I never get tired of and why:
1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is a reminder to be creative, complete with quotes from some very influential persons in history like this one by C. G. Jung
2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a book about seeking your gift and also about knowing where to look and when to stop searching because you’ve already found it. Since the first time I discovered this book in college, I have reread it at least once every year and definitely every time I need some inspiration to follow a dream.
3. Leadership Is an Art by Max DePree keeps me working to be a better leader and more faithful follower. Some years ago, I studied this book for a leadership class and in reviewing and making notes, I realized I was highlighting almost the entire book. It’s such a small book but chock-full of information. Hard to narrow it down but one of my favorite quotes is:
We do not grow by knowing all the answers, but rather by living with the questions.
4. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert I think I am drawn to the names of the writer and characters more than anything in the story itself but even so, there are some pretty interesting statements made in this novel. I love when a work of fiction contains quotes that I can use in real life. This quote reminds me of an experience I had as a child.
There were bars all over the community where men would congregate to drink. Once, we were in the car, parked while my dad talked to the shop owner. There was a drunk man on the pavement, laughing as he drank the liquor and falling asleep, the bottle tipping over as he slept. We were there long enough for him to wake up from his alcohol-induced nap and I saw him start to cry, apparently when he realized his situation hadn’t changed and he had lost his drink in the process. I can still hear the wailing and smell the stink of stale liquor when he staggered in our direction.
5. I keep Siddhartha by Herman Hesse close by and I open it every time I contemplate the lessons one can learn just by being present and observant. Siddharta is the story of the man who is called the Buddha. His story is no different from my story or yours. The difference is in how we relate to our situations. When asked what his talent was, Siddharta replied his talent is for fasting – in a time of nothing, when everyone else is panicking from hunger, Siddharta is comfortable, practicing his talent. This is a clever book and it’s pocket sized so you can have it to face all your challenging moments.
6. The Mona Lisa Stratagem: The Art of Women, Age, and Power by Harriet Rubin discusses the beauty and strength that is only seen in mature, older women. It is a very interesting look at the lessons we can learn from Leonardo Da Vinci who created so many artistically masterpieces yet chose to clutch the Mona Lisa while he died. What about the image of an older woman did he cling to? The discussion in this book is a reminder that maturity isn’t to be feared because the best is still to come. As Hilary Clinton starts her presidential campaign, she seems to be using this as part of her strategy – using her status as a grandmother and the wisdom that only comes from experience to her benefit. Couldn’t we do the same to our benefit?
7. The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity (Case for … Series) by Lee Strobel is an in-depth study that addresses the usual questions people grapple with about God.
8. The Ministry of Healing by Ellen G White addresses health as a gift from God and how we can better preserve that gift, all from a Biblical perspective, written by someone who didn’t take health for granted.
9.A Woman’s Worth by Marianne Williamson Sometimes, I need a reminder that I am enough.
10. God Isn’t In A Hurry by Warren Wiersbe because patience is a virtue I am still working on and tjme is the one thing we don’t have any control over.