What Books Do for the Human Spirit

A theme of Bear Skin is the transformative power of art, narrative, story, poetry and words.

A book is a heart that only beats in the chest of another. ~ Rebecca Solnit.

It seems that all throughout history, writers, thinkers, poets and philosophers have marveled at the power and magic of books and stories.

But surpassing all stupendous inventions, what sublimity of mind was his who dreamed of finding means to communicate his deepest thoughts to any other person, though distant by mighty intervals of place and time! Of talking with those who are in India; of speaking to those who are not yet born and will not be born for a thousand or ten thousand years; and with what facility, by the different arrangements of twenty characters upon a page! Let this be the seal of all the admirable inventions of mankind. ~ Galileo Galilei.

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For many poor or location bound readers, books form a doorway, a portal to the greatest minds and events of history. For the wealthy and more mobile, books remain challenges to priorities, values and heart orientation.

Some books seem like a key to unfamiliar rooms in one’s own castle…I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us…A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us ~ Franz Kafka.

For science fiction writers, books form curious transportation through time and space.

Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic. ~  Carl Sagan.

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For political activists and educators, books are a tool for the liberation and empowerment of the human spirit.

Reading is a way to change our destiny ~  James Baldwin.

For thinkers of all kinds, books create access to great pleasure, even ecstasy.

Reading, is the work of the alert mind, is demanding, and under ideal conditions produces finally a sort of ecstasy. ~ E.B. White 

 

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Through books, humans find freedom, agency and friendships with great thinkers. What better and more cost effective hobby is there in the world?

Homo Ludens with a book is free. At least as free as he’s capable of being. He himself makes up the rules of the game, which are subject only to his own curiosity….. And no other hobby can promise this — to eavesdrop on Montaigne’s arguments or take a quick dip in the Mesozoic. ~Wisława Szymborska.

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