Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Printed Garden

A stack of books spells pleasure for me and, I think, for any of us who love to read. I do and I have since my Dick and Jane and Baby Sally learn-to-read days.

I just finished reading David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet for my book club. It's a long, historical fiction novel exploring the Dutch trading company in Japan during the late 1700's to early 1800's. The book is of the literary kind and difficult reading at times. However, I was stopped cold by one sentence, which I cannot quote verbatim and cannot find it again in the 500 pages to do so. The gist of it is this: He had a treasure trove of books--a printed garden.

What a beautiful way to describe books. Is there any among us who does not appreciate the beauty of a garden of flowers and shrubs, trees and floral grasses? So it is with the printed garden. We who love reading know what blooms inside a book.

The author's choice of words to describe the books, which in that period truly were treasures, is phenomenal. He could have stopped with the part about having a treasure trove of books. Instead, he added the icing to the cake--a printed garden. Word choice by writers could be a topic for another blog post.

I do know that I will most likely bring that phrase...a printed garden to mind whenever I see a stack of books or walk into both bookstores and libraries. The poets among you could use the phrase to compose a new poem.

In an actual garden, we must plant, prune, and care for the flowers and more if it is to thrive. Isn't it similar with our books? We must read, care for, and save them or pass them on to other book lovers.

What does ...a printed garden say to you?

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