wanted me to open a library. I about fell
over myself laughing at him (scorning,
really): “Why would anyone drive past
a public library to my house?!” Yes, our
neighborhood library was disappointing,
but surely that was rare. Libraries, I supposed, were archives of all that is wonderful, no matter the age!
What does one do with
5,000 books . . . in an
Just then, Gina moved (boohoo) to a
large-ish city. Since I had learned much
about top-notch children’s literature, we
visited her new library together, pre-
pared to probe its vast collection. Oh,
the architecture was soaring. The staff
was plentiful! The displays were slick!
But the books? They were lousy. We were
stunned to find not one of the great titles
about ancient Rome there—or anywhere
in the entire county! We stood rooted to
the floor of the library’s dignified rotun-
da in a moment of profound realization:
The great books, the worthy books, the
inspiring books, the ennobling books, the
memorable books, the potent books, all
these “living books” were gone . . . And I
had 5,000 such gems at home! Amazing-
ly, God had provided before I had even
recognized the need!
I spent 7,000– 10,000
man-hours creating a
database of the book
treasures . . . .
At that, my strapping elder son leaned
into the conversation with a significant
sigh: “Sir, if you knew how many boxes
I’ve hauled for my mother, you wouldn’t
ask. Believe me; it’s books.”
The guard chuckled: “You know what?
I do believe you. Go on through!” Oh,
did we warmly laugh, for my sons had
thoroughly enjoyed our book hunt—a
treasure hunt! Indeed, when we would
pull up to a promising bookstore, the
boys would quickly lock my car door and
race ahead, trying to be the first to spot a
Landmark or Signature. So fun . . .
Of course, the boys’ patience was
sometimes tested. One day, the elder,
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