Thursday, May 17, 2007

First Lines

A library is a really neat place, don't you think? I mean, somewhere in almost every town in America (or any town larger than the "one-horse" variety) there is a building full of books that people can take home and read at absolutely no charge. What a concept! Oh, true, it may not be quite as grand as this one:


But I'm guessing your local branch is a bit more, ummm, down to earth.

Anyway, I was browsing through my local university library recently, and came upon an old book, long out of print, by Robert Payne, called Dostoyevsky: A Human Portrait. Now, you will not find this book at your local Borders or Barnes & Noble. But you can almost definitely find it at one of your local libraries. I ran a search on WorldCat.org and found that it is held by 794 libraries! [WorldCat will list them in order of their proximity to your zip code--go ahead, give it a try!]

Anyway, I've started a new tradition around here of posting the first lines of the books I'm reading. And now that I've finished reading Humphrey Carpenter's biography of Tolkien (which succeeded in capturing the strange and lonely genius of its subject), I'm moving on to yet another great Christian novelist.

The book begins with a bang:
It would seem to be a law of nature that when a man is murdered all those who are in any way connected with the crime are haunted. The last cries of the dead man are heard long after his death, and sometimes they are heard many generations after his death.
Who wouldn't want to keep reading?

[PS: lots of astounding library pics here!]

1 comment:

Nancy said...

We live outside of the city limits and so pay eighty dollars per year to use the city library because we do not pay in taxes. It is a small library and I love it. The eighty dollars is almost nothing for as much as we use it. By the way, I just finished a book by Philip Yancey titled "Soul Survivor, How Thirteen Unlikely Mentors Helped My Faith Survive the Church" I highly recomend it.