Again, I must apologize for an unannounced hiatus. I graduated from Whitworth University on May 13 and only now could breathe from the final sprint before graduation. Of course, homework and my internship don’t sound like much of an excuse to put off a commitment to regularly update my blog. But then again, a student majoring in Journalism with a Theology minor tends to get overwhelmed with reading books and writing about them, so I feel the hiatus was justified. It’s not like I was being lazy.
Guilt aside, a road trip after graduation also felt well-deserved. I toured Washington’s west coast in a week-long, whirlwind trip with eight other students from a prayer group at Whitworth. “Prayer group?” you ask. Yes, these guys are Jesus Freaks like I’ve never met before. The group started a year ago in Spring semester to pray together every night for each other as well as the whole campus. I got introduced to the group in January and have made close, hopefully lifelong friends. Not everyone from the group could make it to the road trip, but to give you a taste of how wonderful these people are, I’ll tell you we spent a week together in a 12-seat van and still loved each other by the time we separated. No one complained or fought even once. We laughed, we prayed, we shared everything (food, water, sleeping bags, etc.), and felt blessed through it all. That briefly describes the group and our trip without fully explaining the powerful experience of knowing these people and living with them for a week.
But that is a story too long to share here, so I will continue to what is related to this blog. Most of the people who went on the trip are book lovers. This meant every time we saw a bookstore, we’d have to fight the temptation to lose several hours inside. While we didn’t allow ourselves to get distracted, we did schedule in a drive to Portland for the purpose of visiting Powell’s Books. If you have never heard of Powell’s Books, it is book heaven. You can find anything that interests you within its several floors and color-coded sections. I’ve visited Powell’s once before, and both times, I managed to lose all of my available time within the “Christianity” bookshelves.
This time, I got caught up examining the C. S. Lewis shelves with one of the other students. He kept pulling out books he recommended for me, but I couldn’t buy them all. Even a C. S. Lewis fan has to budget her money. I did leave with a used copy of The Four Loves, though. More on that once I finish reading it.
Something else that caught my eye at Powell’s was their new “Espresso Book Machine,” which prints books in the store on demand. A pamphlet about the press explains, “The EBM is a dynamic new tool for both readers and authors alike, providing opportunities throughout the community to anyone who wishes to print their own writing or simply obtain a difficult-to-find book.” Powell’s takes orders either in the store or at ondemandbooks.com. While we were there, the EBM started printing a WWII journal a man had that belonged to his grandfather. A crowd gathered around the machine to watch the book come together. Even with the rising popularity of e-books, there’s still demand for real paper books.