Start the New Year surrounded by books

Fill your homes with knowledge, then pass it on

Dear Families,
I’m Laura and I’m a biblioholic. It is as real as any addiction but most think it isn’t the worst — after all, we are the “people of the book.” Can we ever have too many books? As I thumbed through the pages of my Sunday edition of The Dallas Morning News this weekend, I came across an amazing article in the Real Estate section that caught my eye titled “Books Everywhere!” In the article, Joseph Pubillones, states, “If you are a book lover like me, the question that comes to mind when organizing books is how to display them. Books are important as a source of knowledge, but to some, books are also cherished treasures, almost like friends, and decorating with them is a serious matter.” The article was not about what books to buy, but rather, how to organize your books. Here are the suggestions from the Real Estate section:
·Bookcases — wood, metal, movable case, old china cabinet?
·Books can decorate every room — living room, office entryways, hallways, coffee tables, even the bathroom.
·A sometimes-overlooked area for books is the bedroom. As the Argentinian poet Jorge Luis Borges once stated, “I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books.”
So what does this mean to us “people of the book”? If someone comes to your home do they see books? What books do you display? What books are in the rooms of your home? Do you have books at your place of work? And, even, do you have books on your phone? While the term “people of the book” refers to Torah it can loosely be interpreted as reading everything and every book. Torah teaches us how to live our lives and every book that we read that gives us ideas and thoughts on how to live a form of Torah.
One of the most deeply felt Jewish values is that of lifelong learning. We must keep studying and books are a great method. But you must share what you read and as you share what you have learned, others continue learning. The way of Jewish learning is chevruta, or learning with a partner. Nothing reinforces learning like arguing points with others. As we go into the new year, go buy a book and find a friend — create a book group to discuss your book. Learn from each other. And one more thing: Fill your home with bookcases and your bookcases with books!

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