When travelling I love searching for books. Independent book stores are fine for the new releases, but secondhand book shops, op shops, and free community book libraries (like the one pictured above in Nurioopta) are where the real treasures lay buried.
The pre-read book trail is usually littered with Mills and Boon type romance, Tom Clancy thrillers, fad diets, old TV series cookbooks and the eclectic now-forgotten-bestseller one-hit wonders. But if you commit to the effort of fossicking, you will inevitably stumble onto books you really want to read.
Here’s the thing: Like some serendipitous oracle, the book you need to read will find you at the exact time you need to read it. Usually this will happen in the most unexpected places.
So far this trip I have Been Lucky enough to find a couple of books I have been wanting to read for some time.
I Ching or Book of Changes. Richard Wilhelm translation with a forward by CG Jung.
Cost: $6.00 at 2nd hand bookshop.
H is for Hawk. Helen Macdonald.
Cost: Free at community exchange book library.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Annie Dillard.
Cost: $2.00 at op shop.
This is a quote from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:
Thomas Merton wrote, “there is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.” There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage. I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock-more than a maple- a universe. This is how you spend this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you. —Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
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