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The Beauty of Books

I love selling books, listing new books, smelling them, stacking them up on my desk as I write their summaries and learn more about their authors. I love it when an old note falls from the pages, a scrap of paper a business card or pressed flower. I love getting orders and carefully packing them up to be shipped off to their new homes.

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Some have gone to libraries, some were anonymous donations to universities, others were birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, Easter gifts, books that people have been looking for for years and have been thrilled to find at my store. I love sending off the prayer books, rosary booklets and especially Roman missals and thinking of the prayers that will be learned or enhanced because of them.

Some people are surprised that I run a little bookstore and they ask me if they sell and the answer is, yes, books sell. But more importantly they speak. Books are perfect little vessels of the printed word. The bound book is all elegance, unassuming, practical, and yet alluring. They are superior to ebooks, kindles, and blogs not because of nostalgia or sentiment but because of their inherent beauty, their  physical accessibility. This will always be the case. When the first book binder painstakingly bound the first book, the written word, betwixt the pages, had found its true home.

-Mrs. Karl T. Cooper, Jr.

 

Your Beads

I found your Rosary

in the children’s room

Lying there between

A.A. Milne and Madeline.

Yesterday it got mixed in the laundry

It scraped the washer’s insides

As I slid it up to  kiss and slip it

In my apron’s pocket.

At night you ask

Where’s . . . 

And I reach out my hand to you,

Extending her mantel,

Here.

knit brows smooth a bit

and we begin again,

rose after rose forming a crown

studded with chants:

Salve Regina 

(You know it better than me. )

and then our litany

We finish at the cross.

Tired from contemplation,

you set down the beads.

-Mrs. Karl T. Cooper, Jr.

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Modern Haiku


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A WESTERNER LOOKS TO THE EAST

I

Moment of Knowledge

When do we touch it and grasp,

When does the tree bloom?

II

It comes so softly

Then grabs the mind, soul, body

Not to be undone

III

Like Zeno’s Tortoise

Never touched caught in my hands

Half, half, half again.

IV

Knowledge grasped we know

No other way, as when

Trees turn lush and green.

V

The unseen can we

Know? The whirlwind I would not

See but for the snow.

 

 

(Mrs. Karl T. Cooper Jr.)