Looking for Old Acquaintances…by Their Titles

Dear Reader:

I fell in love with this whimsical imaginative painting the minute I saw it pop up on-line…Oh what I would have given to have had a tree to go to like this (instead of the downright uncomfortable crab apple tree of my reading childhood.) * Still… even this didn’t stop me from climbing it to read my Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden series books.

Louise Penny has just completed her first draft on the next Armand Gamache mystery novel which she talked about in her latest newsletter. Anne sent me a link to it because it contained several items of interest…and some of the best quotes around…all by Winston Churchill.

The one I liked the most was a rather long quote…but it touched a chord in me and, no doubt, millions of other avid readers around the globe…those of us who love reading and make it a prioritized passion in our lives.

“If you cannot read all your books…fondle them – peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that you at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them, at any rate, be your acquaintances.”
– Winston Churchill

*I remember my third grade teacher, Miss Johnson, pointing at each of us students before reading time in the third grade exclaiming…”Be a reader, then  a leader.” We had to repeat this phrase after her… day by day.  She was right. Winston Churchill is a great example…avid reader…amazing leader.

I will have to remember this Churchill quote each time my next Gamache novel arrives. I get so excited…it really is like seeing an old friend again and welcoming his wisdom and kindness back into your life….you know, without doubt, that the next few hours spent with ‘him’ will be forever memorable! The hardest part is slowing down the “visit.”

I have come to realize that making time for myself and not getting swept away with the busyiness of life depends on having a good book. Give me a good book to carry and I can be happy anywhere in any situation.

I love that so many book cafes are opening now…the two ideas just seem to go together…a cup of coffee or tea or hot chocolate on a rainy or cold day spent in a reading cafe is as about as perfect a day as I can imagine. When this photo popped up…I wanted to walk right into the picture and start reading in the alluring shop.

So until tomorrow…Spending time with a good book is really like spending time with a friend or old acquaintance…but remain open to new and/or different books because…(as in life)…“they might be angels in disguise.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Eva Cate’s Japanese Maple is starting to turn pretty fall colors while the ‘whirling butterflies’ are turning a light shade of pink!

Thank you Doodle for the towels on gratitude…perfect for this time of year or any time!

I always need to be reminded of this important universal message.



About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Looking for Old Acquaintances…by Their Titles

  1. bcparkison says:

    Reading tree….lovely idea.


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