I guess there are worse ways to die, but at the time the idea of being crushed and buried under a tomb of tomes was unsettling. I am a bibliophile, but this place made me claustrophobic!
Shannan and I had stopped at Bargain Books in Waynesville, North Carolina. Mary, the proprietor, has been buying and selling books for 42 years. From the looks of it, she's bought more than she's sold. Mary has 286,000 volumes under her tiny roof; her very own Library of Congress as I see it. This place was t-i-g-h-t. If she is ADA compliant then I am Tom Thumb.
Reflecting on our little venture, I thought of the words from the Teacher of Ecclesiastes, "Be warned, my son . . . of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body." A hearty "Amen" to that!
But the more I thought about it, the last verse of John's gospel summed it up best for me:
- Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. John 21:25 ESV
What John tells me is this: Jesus is so great, so grand, so glorious ... so powerful, so potent, so preeminent ... so gracious, so loving, so kind ... that Mary's 286,000 volumes could not even begin to tell the story. I need to remember that.
- There is no problem I face that he cannot overcome it.
- There is no sin so great his sacrifice did not cover it.
- There is no fear so big that he cannot chase it away.
- There is no heartache so strong that he cannot mend it.
286,000 books, but one lesson for me: Jesus is enough.
"Be warned, my son" Ecclesiastes 12:12 ESV