Thursday, April 20, 2017


Daily Gratitude Year 5- Day 110: Today, I am grateful for vellichor.

I know it is not vocabulary Monday, but this is such a sweet word discovery. 

VELLICHOR: the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time — filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured. -John Koenig, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Have you every entered a used bookstore and taken in the scent and the unique feeling of being surrounded by books that not only tell a story... they have a story. Where has the book been. Who purchased it? Held it? Did it travel by train or steamboat as part of it's history. A used bookstore is a bit of a magic in an ordinary life. 

In "Beauty and the Beast", Belle understands the joy of books. She felt limited by her tiny town, but could escape with a good book. By the time she had read them all, they were old friends to be revisited again. 

One of my most priceless books is called "One Thousand Beautiful Things". It was a used book... a gift from my Grandma Marge's bookshelf when I was a teen. The book was like an early version of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" combined with famous authors short stories and poems.I loaned it out and it never returned. One year, my Randy found a copy and purchased it for me. I do love that man. He knows my heart. 

From between the pages of "One Thousand Beautiful Things", I found new quotes for my quote box. Many ended up matched with scripture on index cards taped to the back of the bathroom stall doors when I was an Resident Assistant at ONU. I loved when my girls would read them and comment. It was one of my favorite ways to encourage... in an odd spot. One bathroom...probably six stalls... and fifty girls. Crazy, right? I still tape quotes up around my desk at work to inspire, direct and correct my thoughts and behaviors. 

In the new version of "Beauty and the Beast", I think it is the castle library where she first falls a little in love with him... and he with her. The bond over books. Used books. Ancient books. Each one with a tale to tell. 

Used bookstores are my favorite place to replenish my Og Mandino library. Og has been one of my great mentors. I love to share his books and if I buy them in a used bookstore - it doesn't matter if I get them back. My niece now has "The Greatest Miracle in the World" in her favorites collection. She, too, has found it inspiring like few others. My first copy was from a used bookstore. 

Vellichor, the strange wistfulness of used bookstores. What a wonderful era we live in, with books so plentiful we have a reason for used bookstores to exist. Delightful, right? 

My favorite "old book" is The Bible. It is unique as it is ancient and living at the same time. It is full so such wisdom, instruction and hope. It is full of the "The Way, The Truth and the Life". History, mystery, prophecy, salvation's path and purpose are between its pages. 

"Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come." -1Corinthians 10:11 

"Written down for our instruction." Books can guide us on our way, or take us away. Both avenues are well traveled. 

Used book stores love visitors. Take your list of books never returned from a loan or favorites you would like to give away. Embrace the vellichor. 

Today, I am grateful for vellichor.

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