I know that Ray Bradbury wasn’t speaking directly to me when he directed us to “stuff your eyes with wonder”, but it feels like he was. I believe he meant for us to read a vast variety of that which is in printed form. You never know what will spark the sense of wonder behind your eyes on it’s journey of interpretation through your brain and ultimately your heart.
So let’s define the word wonder. Merriam-Webster says:
1 a: a cause of astonishment or admiration: marvel; it’s a wonder you weren’t killed; the pyramid is a wonder to behold
2: the quality of exciting amazed admiration
3 a: rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience
b: a feeling of doubt or uncertainty
The first know use of wonder was before the 12th century, surviving in its original form since then.
So, we have a cause of astonishment or admiration, exciting amazed admiration, astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new, and a feeling of doubt or uncertainty. Yes, that is the perfect explanation of the type of reading I like. Where is the best place to experience these astonishing, amazing, mysterious uncertainties? In the stacks of your local public library, that’s where.
To me, there is no more comfortable place than my favorite table near the window in the back corner of my little library in the woods. While I’m there I learn about trench composting in my garden. I never realized I was already practicing “How to Hygee” on a snowy day all bundled up in my favorite sweatshirt and warmest socks, until I read about it in my little corner of the library. I witnessed the release of Monarch butterflies into the heirloom garden that was planted by staff and patrons, in our little woods.
Having said all of that, I have to leave my little library in the woods. I have to know. Is this the only library that can excite, amaze and astonish me? I will embark on a quest this week. No, I won’t be throwing a ring into a fire, or killing Horcruxes. And no, I don’t need to find Dooley and convince him to marry Lacy. I want to stuff my eyes with wonder. I’m greedy for it. I want to see ALL of the books and meet ALL of the people. Do you want to know what I find? I wonder…..