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Financial investors know how important it is to start saving and placing those precious finances into income-earning locations.  Parents and grandparents know how important it is to invest as well.  They start young lives with the joy of reading.  Books introduce the world of imagination, learning and life about the world in which they will live.

My first grandchild is two this year.  As the day drew to a close and washing up had been completed, he gathered his blanket and an armful of books and ran into my arms, climbed into my lap, curled up so that he was comfortable and then he pointed to his books, gesturing for me to read to him.

He buried himself deeper into my hug.  I picked up the top book and opened it up to the first page.  These board books are fun to read.

Colorful characters and simple stories with clad truths make it fun.  Even though I have never read these books, it was easy to put in a lot of expression and emphasis.  The meaning of the lesson became more and more clear as I read to my grandson.

There were easy moments for me to ask him to point to colors, animals and objects on the page.  He was participating and no doubt learning while he snuggled in my embrace.  It was my first time in the role of grandfather reader.

I was relishing the moment.  This has been a dream to invest in these little lives this way.  I could introduce him to so many wonderful ideas and reenforce some of life’s most important values.

In brief well designed books, I taught my grandson about friendship, initiative, community, helpfulness and loyalty.  He learned about telling the truth, honesty and industry.  He will need these qualities when he lives his life among people who are not so helpful to others.

All during the reading I was thoroughly enjoying the cuddle moment.  My grandson curled up and tucked himself in a comfortable position, inside Grandpa’s embrace.  It was a special moment.

He is young but I hope that the love that we shared will always be a part of his life.  It will for me.  Reading and books and grandfather’s bonding time are treasures.

Did someone read to you in your childhood days?  Do you remember going to a library in your youth?  Classic novels probably still leave memory moments in your mind, right?

photo credit: KJB photography

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For most of my adult life I have involved with theology in one way or another.  A good portion of my professional career I have been immersed in theological higher education.  That kind of pursuit necessitates a specialized interest in reading, lot of reading.

This endeavor of course requires that I have a lot of books close at hand.  Or if necessary at least in the realm of geographical proximity.  That means wherever I am, I seek out collections where scholarly volumes can be a part of my research and study.

Here in Houston there is a collection, a library that is remarkable.  Besides the books that now count up into the tens of thousands, the building that houses this collection is even more startling.  Furthermore, the collection is open to the public at no charge.

It was a very hot day when my colleagues and I made a trek to visit this depository of learning.  The proprietor had a building constructed that is in the Cambridge Oxford style.  Two-feet thick stone walls is the basic construction. 

Inside the woodwork is exquisite, the craftsmanship represents the finest skills in that trade.  Artwork decks the ceiling.  Ornate tapestries tastefully add to the grandeur of the facility.

Museum quality pieces are housed in protected displays.  Some are replicas, like the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Others are authentic; I marvelled at the first edition first copy of the 1611 King James Bible.

The Chapel was gorgeous.  It is a replica of a Byzantine era structure.  There is an atmosphere inside that building that is inspiring.

Not everyone will want to visit a place like this.  You have to be associated with theological research to have that interest.  But, if you do, this Lanier Theological Library is a great destination.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

We have moved into our new rental.  The big stuff have been set in place.  A few grunts, groans and heaves have pushed them around to their final positions.

A lot of our little stuff is situated too.  The kitchen is functional and charming, thanks to my wife’s wonderful touch.  There is a warmth that is emanating from our home.

My office is functional.  I can pay bills, work on my taxes and do my research.  However, there is a challenge with several boxes left unpacked.

 I honestly don’t know how many boxes of books that I still have to sort through. Over the last two years I have given away thousands of volumes.  Even in their departure I handled them multiple times, going through a subjective process of purging.

Research tools I kept.  One-time read novels I gave away.  Non-fiction works that I had read once were gifted away.

Now, I still have hundreds of specialty reads hoping for an imminent decision.  They tell me about my life as much as they tell me about what the author wrote.  Categorized in small piles, they reflect the interests of my life.

There is a pile of books on fishing.  Some volumes talk about a specific species of fish.  Others tell about the technique to catch them and when to try.  Yet others give instructions on how to prepare them for a meal.

 Then, there are books on motorcycling.  Some are gift books that tell the history of certain models.  Others give lessons on riding safely and rides to take.

Of course there are books on photography.  You can tell that I have an interest in outdoor photography, wildlife and digital techniques.  These books have the best covers on them.

There are no more places to put my books.  It’s time to purge them yet again.  The exercise is uncomfortable as I handle each book multiple times, trying to make a choice.

My cook books might go.  I bought those when I had to do more in the kitchen while Yvonne worked on her Masters degree.  Someone else would certainly get more use out of them.

I’ll reduce my travel books.  Now, I’ll keep the memory of my trips in a  few volumes since my planning is all done.  It’s a good thing books can’t talk or they might be all saying “Keep me!” “Give me to someone who needs me.”  or “Read me again, I’m worth it!”

photo credit: google image

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