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Jim and I are both of the school of thought that says no problem is too large that can't be solved by a book. Books are good for specific information, yes. Maybe the internet will one day solve all our information needs.
But books also fill an emotional need, for me anyway. They are a great salve for loneliness, restlessness, anger. They can focus new-found energy or dissipate craziness. Just the weight of a book in your hands gives you a sense of rootedness and security. You hold a little world in your hands. I don't think sitting at a computer will ever quite do this.
When I've meditated on images of plenty, I find myself at Pius X Library at St Louis University, where I spent many, many evenings and weekends in high school. In those developmental years, that library contained all the answers — if only I could stay awake long enough to find them.
But then there are those days when too many books weigh me down. They signify immobility and inflexibility. That's when I get the bug to clean house.
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