The Power of Books


Simple liberation strategy from ignorance and intolerance: Read! I believe: Our first line of defense AND offense is found in reading books. Leaders in the highest office of this land have claimed they do not need to read books ~ they know all. Their loss is my gain, as I claim the power of books.

Cicero, ancient Roman politician and philosopher, said: A room without books is like a body without a soul.

For three glorious years, I was given the chance to share a room full of books, serving  many souls ~ My last day at Cloud & Leaf Bookstore brought the usual wonder and life to my day. I left one copy of my tiny bookshop memoir high on a shelf, watching readers and browsers and dogs wandering through the scent of paper and ink.


And my last day behind the counter (or searching the stacks with customers) was filled with a singing gratitude and nostalgic satisfaction. Even as I absorbed the essence of those 3 years, saving it for another quiet moment to be remembered, I knew it was time to move on to another learning, reading, giving adventure and purpose. As some leaders have said: “There is still much to be done.” I will miss the peace; the challenge is ahead.


Most appropriately, and prophetically, the last book I sold, was Ivan Doig’s final novel: The Last Bus To Wisdom. Just as I started to close the shop at 5pm, a friend came rushing in to find the Doig book ~ and blessed my final hour in that living, breathing space of countless reading & writing souls. I love this book: go read it!


The Power of Books!! My reading and conversations with readers have motivated me to put this power into action. May I suggest my own library, here photographed in part, but now boxed up for the move north, into a liberal college town where questions are explored, studied, read, argued, every minute. YES! Here are new and very old volumes from 60 years of reading…to learn, to understand, to wonder, to laugh, cry, be amazed and just escape. Oh, and to sing……









So, friends and readers ~ I’m wishing you amazing peace and gratitude, and most importantly, the power we all have as readers to affect positive change. Read to children, teach reading, read everything you can from all sides and positions ~ embracing the power of knowledge to make the most informed choices which will benefit all. Onward!



no power after the tornado, October 2016, still reading

Thank you, Cloud & Leaf and Jody, my friend and owner of the most inviting, well-curated bookstore ever ~ and thank you everyone who shared, both near and far, my transformative experience of selling (and reading) books!


in Manzanita by the Sea, on the Oregon Pacific coast…….



2 thoughts on “The Power of Books

  1. Jane Thomas says:

    A hymn to books, to reading, to the power of words–thank you, Susie.


  2. Cynthia McGladrey says:

    Your literary experience, beauty, and wisdom shines through in every word and photo. Thank you! May blessings of peace continue with you on your new journeys.


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