If a Book Can be Judged by its Cover, Can a Person be Judged by Their Bookshelf?

Joel J. Miller

I spent half of Saturday organizing my library. I’ve always had an unwieldy number of books, more volumes than space, and it requires a fair amount of shuffling around and reordering to get them all to sit there in a way that’s useful to me and tolerable to my wife.

It’s pure joy. Sorting through my library is therapeutic. There are few things more intellectually restorative than a casual browse of books you love.

A journey through your shelves allows you to get reacquainted with old friends and relations, books that might have triggered a line of thinking that still…

Want Resolution in Life? Try Trading Resolution for Patience

Joel J. Miller

In movies the hero butts up against a problem, something that threatens his peace, safety, and happiness. If the screenwriter is at all talented, we quickly sympathize. We have troubles of our own, after all, and our sympathy and identification increase as the story intensifies. Every twist and turn of the plot worsens our hero’s position to the problem until, when all appears most dire, he finally prevails. The problem is resolved and peace, safety, and happiness are restored. The hero triumphs. All is well. We breathe easy.

It’s a hopeful and satisfying formula. It presents a picture of…