Life. Pared Down.

For Folks with Everything Except Peace of Mind

Secrets of Living the European Lifestyle (Part 8)

Read Old Stuff…

The next time you wander into an antique or second-hand shop keep your eyes out for some of the vintage books whether on a shelf or decorating a display table. Just about the easiest and most cost-friendly things to find these days are old books.

Some might have a bit of a musty smell, but if you can get over that, there may be a treasure inside.

I absolutely love old books, especially ones for children as they usually come with illustrations. It takes me back to a time when we spent more time with people and less with technology. And yes, I am guilty as charged for I use my computer to type up these little blogs. But that doesn’t mean that you or I cannot benefit from old books.

There seems to be a prejudice against old stuff and old books in particular, as if the ideas are old-fashioned. But since there is ‘Nothing new under the sun’ to quote Ecclesiastes 1:9, then maybe we can benefit from reading what someone who happened to live during different days than we live (after all that is the ONE difference) might have to say about the same old things we deal with today. Even scientists must admit (if they are honest scientists) that human nature is something that does not change.

Speaking of science, today’s scientists borrow heavily from the discoveries of the past. If Pasteur, Gregor Mendel (who invented the scientific method used today, although new historians would like you to think differently), etc. had not passed on their work, today’s scientists would have to start from scratch. Why are they so eager to take from scientists in the past? Probably because the people who came before them were intelligent and actually used the scientific method better than they do. Scientists then were free from the worries of losing grant money if they didn’t come up with the results dictated by the rulers of their era.

But I digress…

Let’s face it. Our predecessors had a better grasp of our language than we do, and they spent more time in solitude and contemplation than we do. They didn’t have the sound of machinery and technology as distractions to the extent that we do. So, why not see what they have to say?

I love making friends with authors of the past. After all, whenever I step into a book I step into a conversation with the author. He is telling me the story from his point of view. What better way to immerse myself into his head, his culture, his surroundings and his times? I can think of no other. And for roughly $2.00 you can find a gift that keeps on giving, an old book with a new perspective, new because you simply haven’t turned the page yet.

Happy Reading! Let me know how adding old stuff to your bookshelves (I’m assuming you have at least one) has benefitted your life.


Karen J.