writing

Keeping one’s Brain in a Suitcase.  

The snag in being married to a person who knows more or less everything is that one gets hopelessly lazy. … I never look things up in books because all I need to do is ask him, and when he gives me the answers I don’t properly commit them to memory because I know if I forget all I have to do is to ask him again. It is rather like keeping one’s brain in a suitcase.

Alice Thomas Ellis

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Mr. and Mrs. Colin Haycraft (Alice Thomas Ellis’ married name). 

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Walker Percy’s “Love In The Ruins” Sequel

The Thanatos Syndrome is Walker Percy’s Sequel to “Love in The Ruins.” In 1989, Percy stated that, in The Thanatos Syndrome:
“I tried to show how, while truth should prevail, it is a disaster when only one kind of truth prevails at the expense of another. If only one kind of truth prevails — the abstract and technical truth of science — then nothing stands in the way of a demeaning of and a destruction of human life for what appear to be reasonable short-term goals.”

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.

 

Books Babies Love

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Lullabies (with pictures from the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Many mother and baby pictures, that little ones identify with easily, from various parts of the world are included. It’s also fun to “find” people from our extended family in the paintings.

The World of the Polar Bear (nature photography related to their interests)

This is a great one, if your toddler likes polar bears. Lots of amazing shots of mothers and cubs. Not limited to bears either; meet muskoxen, seals, walruses, belugas, and arctic foxes.

Corduroy and Goodnight Moon

These classic picture books never get old. Not even after ten consecutive repetitions 😉

A is for Altar, B is for Bible

Build a basic religious and liturgical vocabulary and begin (or enrich) the most important conversation you and your child can have. This Montessori-inspired alphabet book is a beautiful aid to handing on the faith, communicating the love of Jesus, and bringing even the youngest children into dialogue with the Word of God. (Catholic or High Church Anglican specific.)

Write Your Own Book! (or “Wreck This Journal”)

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In our blank book, we draw and name basic shapes, illustrate favorite nouns, explore with crayons and colored pencils, paste stickers, favorite greeting cards, and pictures, and practice fine motor skills with colored tape. Give your toddler freedom to scribble, rip, and experiment to his heart’s content but don’t be surprised if you like some of the pages so much that it becomes difficult to do that!

-Mrs. Aldertree

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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