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Memorable first lines of books, the book lover and a big book sale

“It was a dark and stormy night,”* and I was curled up with one of my favorite books. Not too much else I love to do more.

I love books. Full stop.

This is not news to those who know me. And, for those who love me (and live with me) it is certainly not news. My home is filled with books. I love it. My family, sometimes, not so much.

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”**

To be fair, I get this honestly. I was taken to the library from the time I could draw breath and my greatest joy as a child was wandering the library stacks, picking up a stack of my own to take home and enjoy nearly every day in the summer.

“It was love at first sight.” ***

My parents were great readers, and our house was also filled with books.

“And thereby hangs a tale.”****

My mother was an antique dealer, so antique collectible books were part of my daily life. In Delaware, we lived above the shop so I walked past the tempting bookcases night and day. I was not allowed to play with the valuable books. Ooops.

“You better not never tell nobody but God.”#

That’s probably why I grew up to be a book collector. I didn’t want anyone to be able to keep me from books, especially collectible books.

“All children, except one, grow up.” ##

I love everything about books. I love the way they feel, and smell. The way the pages turn. Even the way the pages on a Kindle turn. I love the written word: the type, the spacing, the beauty of it all. I love the old books, with crinkly pages and leather covers, some beautifully embossed. I love old woodcuts and other illustrations in old books. I love new books, with their inky smell and crisp clean pages. I love everything about books.

And I even love books in quantity, which is good for this week, since it is the week of the annual Friends of Legal Services Book Sale, held for the 34th year at Laird Hall at Wilson College. I’ve been involved with the sale for about 25 or so of those years.

open book at Sanctuary Christian Counseling in Shippensburg PA

“Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space.” ##

For some of those years, the space I’ve been in charge of is the special books – those books that have greater value than some of the others, generally based on age and rarity. We have a section of these that are part of a silent auction, and they are a special joy.

In the book sale itself, not just in the special books, we have tens of thousands of books – novels, cookbooks, children’s books, religious books, military books, travel books. You name it, we have it. This year there are a lot of spiritual disciplines books, Jewish books, books in Russian and German. It’s so interested to see what we’ll get for each sale, and different every year. It’s a lot of work, but for a book collector and lover like me, it’s a lot of fun, too.

“Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong.”####

And it’s been that. Lots of moving and shaking, maybe not so much ding-donging, for about a year to get ready for this year’s sale. It’s happening this Friday, May 18 from 9-9, Saturday from 9-5 and Sunday from noon to 4 (bag day, when bags of books are $5 and you get a free bag when you buy three). It’s at Laird Hall, which is at the rear of Wilson College near the creek in Chambersburg.

I hope you’ll come out and see what’s up. Have a snack, browse around. Find a book or two (or more). We have some suggestions for you of books we love here at Sanctuary Christian Counseling on our “books we love” – a new page on our website.

Check it out ...

There are tons of self-help books there, but here at Sanctuary, we’ve found that there’s nothing like a compassionate listening ear to help you through. When you have found that books are not enough, consider giving us a call. We are here to help you live your best life.

“All this happened, more or less.” ^

Sanctuary Christian Counseling

9974 Molly Pitcher Highway, Suite 4

Shippensburg, PA 17257


Here are the specifics of the famous book first lines that I used in writing this blog:

* Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time.

**Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina.

***Joseph Heller, Catch-22.

**** William Shakespeare, As You Like It.

#Alice Walker, The Color Purple.

## J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan.

### Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye.

#### Watty Piper, The Little Engine that Could.

^Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five.

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