What exactly constitutes a treasure? Since there are precious few chests of gold to be found in the twenty-first century, perhaps re-defining the meaning of the word is in order. People find treasures at garage sales and flea markets; even I have brought home someone else’s junk, thinking I had done well, adding it to my own collection of what my children may offer to others for next to nothing.
My Uncle Bob was recommending a book, written by someone he knew, which is only available on Amazon, for $25.00. I responded that I don’t recall the last time I paid twenty-five dollars for a book. Almost all of my books have been bought on sale at the former Border’s Book Outlet, and Half Price Books. Since then I discovered the racks of books “withdrawn” from library collections and I have come home beaming with such treasures as a paperback volume of Manga by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko called Joan, Book III. This book was fifty cents and now sits on top of a few other chosen favorites on my coffee table. It is beautiful.
The most recent book I’ve purchased from the new Parma Library for $1.00 is Kathleen Norris’ Acedia & Me. It is so stunning I would make it required reading for all thinking adults who have passed their fourteenth birthday, if that were possible. I didn’t even look at the book jacket description. I bought it because I would read anything she has written. I was introduced to her work by my late friend, Judy Sherburne, an avid reader, when she loaned me her copy of The Cloister Walk. I later read The Virgin of Bennington, which is largely about her getting her bearings in the world of writing. Acedia & Me is tied to the writings of Evagrius, a fourth century monk, who talked about the noon day demon of tedium, depression and how they are related to the seventh grave sin, sloth. She goes on to relate this demon to not only those who live lives of solitude, but how it is screaming out at our un-hearing and un-caring twenty-first century society.