There is a stack of books on my nightstand; I affectionately refer to it as “the nightstand stack”. These are the books that satisfy my curiosity, empower me with information, shape my thinking, and effectively create the person I am becoming. I might pick one up at night for a few minutes before I go to sleep or when I wake up in the morning. I’ll pick up another one if I have a larger block of time and read a more significant portion. Weekends are prime time to grab some time to read. One or more books may find their way into my bag to be pulled out at a local coffee shop. Three books are always in the stack – Hannah Whitall Smith (HWS), The Message, and my NIV Bible. HWS is really three books: The Christian’s Secret of A Happy Life, The God of All Comfort, and The Unselfishness of God. The rest of the books cycle in and out of the stack, moving to the wooden bookcase or the corner, where all the books that won’t fit in the bookcase live for now.
My books represent the evolution of me. They come to me when I need to know something. I find them in the nooks and crannies of dusty, old, second-hand bookstores. I spot them often at Half-Price Books, one of my favorite haunts. Rarely, they appear at Barnes & Noble, but if they are not too expensive, they will leave happily in my arms. Most often they beckon from Amazon.com’s gleaming website where the blue type entices me with an incredibly low ‘used’ paperback price. Whether driven by some inner turmoil or an insatiable ‘need to know’, I search and I find books.
Books contain information; this information is endued with almost magical powers. It can supply information on any subject imaginable – cooking, gardening, building things, pet care, children, finances, education, self-help and so much more. Books are a time machine through which I can explore the mysteries of history. They are a present connection to times past and times future. Books are a mirror; they help me see myself in the context of my world. They help me see myself as I am, as I want to be. They are the rungs on the ladder that takes me to the next level.
I’ll probaly always have a “nightstand stack”, my ready supply of knowledge, encouragement, and personal growth within arm’s reach. I never want to stop growing . . . learning . . . exploring . . . so I’ll never stop reading.
Here are some of the authors who have influenced me most on a variety of subjects . . .
Hannah Whitall Smith
M. Scott Peck
Dr. John Carl
Dr. Andrew Weil