A busy summer is no excuse to ignore Henry David Thoreau. After weeks of silence from me, I’ve finally found a reason to sacrifice some of my valuable time to this endeavor, the 144th anniversary of the publishing of Henry David Thoreau’s book, Walden.
It was one of those holidays when I received gifts, either Christmas or my birthday. I was in high school and I had asked my parents for a book by Henry David Thoreau. My mother nodded as if she knew that I really didn’t know what I wanted, “Why do you want that?” My only answer was some mumblings about wanting to read the book, when in reality, a teacher of mine had recommended it with a brief description of Thoreau’s philosophy. When I received my present I knew it was a book by its weight, but still said, “I wonder what it is.” My grandfather had a knowing look in his eye and replied, “It’s Walden.” I’m sure he was so positive of my lack of research that he was safe telling me that much, but I had learned the title of the book I wanted, even though I didn’t know why I wanted it. I smiled and eagerly tore the wrapping paper saying, “Alright, Henry David Thoreau!”
I tried to read the book. It sits on my book shelf beside other unread classics that I have purchased because a library “should” have them. Walden was my first experience with the act of buying a book because “smart” people read books like that. No matter how smart I become, I still find myself doing that. Ironically, my quote collection has tons of Thoreau quotes that I find true and lovely. I think I will rescue my copy of Walden and read it for myself.
In other news, Quotes of the Week might not be so weekly for the rest of the summer. With that I will leave you with the first Thoreau quote.
Introduction and quote compilation by Laura S. Moncur, Staff Writer.
- “Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”
- Walden Paperback by Henry David Thoreau – Every library should have it and its spine should be well cracked. (I’m going to crack mine as soon as I’m finished here.)
- Civil Disobedience, Solitude and Life Without Principle Paperback by Henry David Thoreau – The justification for his rebellion (he refused to pay taxes because of the Mexican American War).
- Henry David Thoreau : Three Complete Books Hardcover by Henry David Thoreau – Get Walden, Cape Cod, and The Maine Woods in a hardbound edition surely to last forever in your bookcase (especially if you don’t read it).
- The Portable Thoreau Paperback by Henry David Thoreau, Carl Bode – If you are actually planning on reading his works, this is the book to buy. At 698 pages, it hardly seems portable, but you receive a collection of his works to keep you reading for awhile. Enjoy!
- Thoreau World Wide – A good introduction to Henry David Thoreau. Make sure you read Background behind Walden.