The Well Rounded Life

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Perhaps I often give the wrong impression of my life or how life ought to be lived (and those two things are not the same). This website is called The Heavy Laden Bookshelf, and no doubt it is heavily stacked with posts about books from my past, present, and future readings.  One might think that I live my whole life tucked away in a chair, one book in hand, a huge stack nearby, with a UPS truck driving up delivering the next load of goodies.  One might think that life apart from the pages for me consists of glancing up over the top of the current read and noting that it is sunny or stormy outside, along with the occasional journey from the book nook to the coffee maker.

I admit that is a part of how I live.  But it is not my entire life, nor is it what I desire, nor is it what I am promoting.  Books and reading are delightful and helpful as a part of life.  Expand that to being a big part of some lives.  I am, by profession, a teacher of books.  I was for many years a pastor, which is also a book-heavy profession.  I am also a book reviewer.  And yes, I really like the printed pages bound by preferably hardback covers.  I like the look, feel, experience, and ambiance of books, bookshelves, book stacks, along with stately desks, comfortable chairs, and less than overpowering lamps.

But the world of books is only a limited part of what the world should be.  I wish it were both more of my life and less of my life.  More, because I have many books I need to read.  Less, because I wish I were able to and prone to do more things apart from reading.

For years, I lived in a log house in the woods.  I owned a canoe which I used on every occasion I could.  I often went camping.  That all changed.  When I had children, we faced the need to move, so I lost the log house in the woods.  Work and the adding on of years diminished my ability and interest in being in the great outdoors.  At some point, I realized that I just did not like roughing it in the wilderness, but could not afford to rent the nice log cabin (reminiscent of my former home) near a river.

For a season or two, I had a number of speaking engagements around the country that took me from the Atlantic coast to Florida to Alaska.  That ended, and public speaking is no longer an option for me.  Those trips enabled us to see lots of places that we otherwise could not go to.

So, what is it that I am recommending or suggesting or merely bemoaning?  Variety, as the old saying goes, is the spice of life.  Go to concerts.  I have attended concerts featuring country singers like Charlie Daniels and Mo Pitney over the last few years, along with going to concerts featuring classical music. Go to movies, and I did really enjoy Tolkien, but only liked some of the Avenger-type movies because my family wanted to see them.  See the world that God made.  I am still a bit cross because my outdoor work last week resulted in a battle between me and a group of evil chiggers, and I lost that battle.

And read, but don’t just read.  There are few books about someone who just reads.


One thought on “The Well Rounded Life

  1. In addition to books I like to read and write the day. one reason I have trouble writing just straight history of ideas or straight history of any kind of non-fiction is I try to mingle and mix it with a personal emotional aspects of my daily life. I love to read and to write the day, to read and to write my own spontaneous thoughts as they occur during the day. Thoreau said something like, “my life is the book I would have writ, but I was too busy living it” I have often thought of writing and sharing some of my thoughts with you but you do seem so involved in other books that any additional information seems superfluous. Perhaps in the fullness of time we will have a chance to share. Blessings to you and yours!

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