0 In Choosing Joy

A Living Library

living library

My whole life I’ve been a treasure seeker. When I was young, I had a rock collection. Some of my earliest memories involve hunting for obsidian in my backyard, eyes trained toward the dirt, bending to dust the dull off any glinting blackness that caught my eye.

Not much has changed. I’m at my best and feel like my most authentic self when I am searching. I’m still trying to unearth that which is barely visible, but precious to me.

In an effort to celebrate the things that make me me and the treasures I’ve collected along the way, I’ve started a new tradition. Each year for my birthday, I am going to buy myself a first edition, a beautiful edition, (or whatever I can afford) of a book that has shaped me or reminds me of a person I was at a specific time in my life. Books that have spoken to me, made me feel less lonely, more understood, have made me look at the world in a new way. I’m calling it my Living Library.

Some day, I hope to pass it on to my children as a collection in the hopes that the books that spoke to me might speak to them, might help them know me or to know themselves.

So far, the living library I’m planning is eclectic. I’d share all the titles with you, but oddly, that seems a little too intimate to make public in its entirety. So, for now, I will share the books I bought this year: a signed first edition of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and a first edition of Tribe: on Homecoming & Belonging by Sebastian Junger.

I can’t wait to know what books have whispered to my son’s soul in the ways that the books in my living library have to mine.

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