Maribeth B.'s Reviews > Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life

Book Girl by Sarah    Clarkson
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it was amazing

This book spoke so deeply to my soul that I got all choked up when I reached the end. Thanks to Sarah Clarkson's brave, joyful conviction that stories can change a woman from the inside out, I've finally rediscovered my old girlhood love of reading. And this reinvigorated love isn't just limited to fiction, either! There are so many books out there--theological, biographical, and philosophical--that I've always wanted to read. Book Girl has given me the courage to grab them off the shelves!

But more than all the wonderful recommendations, I deeply appreciate the way in which Sarah points out the character qualities of a woman who reads. The different attributes almost read like Proverbs 31! A woman who reads, I learned, is a woman who "...taps into the fundamental reality that she was created to learn." She "is storyformed, shaped in her concept of self by the characters she has encountered." She "understands that she has a part to play in the drama of the world" and "has been prepared to accept the truth that beauty tells, to embrace the good news that imagination brings."

A woman who reads "knows that a shared book is...a space in which the soul and thoughts of another may open to her in a wondrous way." A woman who reads "takes off her shoes, and wonders." She "ponders," and she "knows the holy secret of time spent in quiet." A woman who reads is also "a rebel, defying the pace of the instant at which the modern world gallops from dawn to dusk." She "has learned how to hope. She understand that the grief of the present...is not the final word." And last but not least, she is "a giver. One who, out of the riches of her reading life, out of a soul made quiet with wisdom, passes on the treasure she has found."

As a reader, I was inspired and challenged to seek out rich, complex novels and theological classics. As a writer, however--an aspiring seanachí, to borrow the old Celtic term--I was equally encouraged! I hope my own stories brim with the same joy and courage and eucatastrophe of the grand old tales I love. I hope, too, that I become the woman Sarah describes so eloquently in Chapter 3:

A book girl is one who has grasped the wondrous fact that she has a mind of her own, a gift from her Creator, meant to be filled and stretched, challenged and satisfied by learning for all the days of her life. A woman who reads is one who takes ownership of herself, aware that words give her the holy power to seek, to grow, to question, and to discern. She knows that to read is to begin an adventure of self-formation in partnership with the Holy Spirit that will shape the choices she makes, the dreams she bears, the legacy she leaves in the great tale of the world."
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Reading Progress

December 31, 2018 – Started Reading
December 31, 2018 – Shelved
January 9, 2019 –
page 132
45.83% "Chapter 6, "Books Can Cultivate the Imagination," is SPOT ON!!!! "To reject image, creation, and story as peripheral to faith is to ignore the way God created us--as beings made in his imagine to create in our turn, as souls capable of both reason and analysis but also equally capable of imagination, creativity, and emotion.""
January 21, 2019 –
page 206
71.53% ""A woman who reads is a woman who ponders, who knows the holy secret of time spent in quiet, the power that comes from stepping back from the madness of screen and email, schedule and headline, to seek an inner place of hush in which she may know her own heart and the voice of the Holy Spirit afresh.""
January 31, 2019 – Finished Reading

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