We Lusty Bibliophiles
June 13th, 2011 by Les

The only true equalizers in the world are books; the only treasure-house open to all comers is a library; the only wealth which will not decay is knowledge; the only jewel which you carry beyond the grave is wisdom. ~ J.A. Langford – Author of Langford Pub

We lusty bibliophiles know that reading, unlike just about anything else, is both good for you and loads of fun. ~ Kevin Smokler – Writer

There is a library at the Lake Chapala Society in Ajijic. It is open 10 – 2 Monday – Friday.  There is a library nearby in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco on Hidalgo with books in many languages.  There are many libraries in Guadalajara.

I have been referred to as a bibliophile forever by friends and family.  I am a card carrying member of BBAA (Book Buying Addicts Anonymous) and proud of it!  Over the course of years when I have had a little money I have bought a book and, if I have any left, I just might buy food or clothing.  I have special authors I’ve grown to know and love.  I await with bated breath a new offering from any of them.  Don’t get me wrong and believe me when I say no one would refer to me as Poindexter.  Quite honestly I’m not ashamed to call Tech Support, I’m down right proud to admit my technical ignorance to eggheads everywhere.

I do believe a book is a portal into another dimension as well as a piece of living history.  In my travels I have always made sure I visited book stores, libraries, museums.  Who hasn’t?  From London with its fabulous historical bookstores with wood made shiny having been trod upon by so many people entering their doors and book shelves laden with every kind of book imaginable bending under the weight to, now, the small libraries in the Village of Ajijic…all have been a wonderful adventure.

However there were some sleepless nights when we first arrived and my book cache had begun to dwindle.  I felt as if my inner madman, usually under lock and key, was wandering about free as a well, unbound book.  Let’s face it madness takes its toll and one must always have exact change.

There are bazaars with used books everywhere you look, thank goodness.  One of the local animal shelters who help to take care of the too many abandoned, unloved and uncared for animals has many used books for sale to help defray the cost of caring for these wonderful creatures.

If there is a book sale I naturally gravitate toward it as if a magnet has me within its pull.  The Internet has made it much easier to keep track of what is going on in our mother countries and what a blessing that is to all of us living here or anywhere else in the world.

I used to order books from the states.  It would take anywhere from three to four weeks to get them and, quite often the box had been opened somewhere in transit.  I’m one of those crazy people who take care of the spine of a book when reading and try to keep it in great shape having more then the average person’s difficulty with getting rid of books I’ve already read. When coming down here you must consider the cost of moving those heavy books.

My children gave me a Kindle for Christmas and I was overjoyed…tempered with the thought how can I take pleasure in a good read if I’m not holding a book?  The mere act of picking up a book after a long hard day was soothing and restful.  Books got my mind off of work and often times made me laugh out loud.  Admittedly, the maniacal laugh might have been a little disconcerting to David.  He is now used to it!  With a Kindle or Nook you can have a book in less then 60 seconds!  Amazingly wonderful!!

I’m the type who can’t be without the next book.  There have been times when I was so desperate to read anything I did just that, read anything to distraction.  Suddenly the book that came with my new Black and Decker fry pan was one of the most intriguing pieces of literature I could get my hands on.

It would be like reading Faust today; no doubt it is a classic.  However, Goethe might find himself out of luck trying to sell it to current readers.  I guess emphasizing the humor in the dialog which seemed to give all the good lines to the devil might encourage someone.  Getting a book in 60 seconds probably means I won’t be reading Faust again soon but, if the need arises, I know I could have it with the snap of a finger.

I’ve heard it said many times over the years by people who have lived in countries other then their own, you learn to love the books you have and read them over and over.  A book, written in your native language was a treat beyond imagination.

In closing, I am happy to report, I haven’t lost my mind….I have a tape backup somewhere and, for now, there are many, many books here to keep my fellow bibliophiles happy.  Technology has had mixed reviews over the years.  Now you can’t pry the Kindle out of my hand and, amazingly, I’d be absolutely lost without it.

Viva Mexico!

David has been doing many a walk about (thank you, our Aussie friends, for that wonderful phrase) lately.  Below are just a few of the photographs he’s taken.  Enjoy!

Set Fires on the Mountains Preparing for the Growing Season

Fan Palm

Lake Chapala


Orange Blossoms

Boat Doorway

Shops on Colon

Ajijic Plaza

Tree Lined Street


Palms Silhouette

5 Responses  
  • Laurel writes:
    June 14th, 20111:19 pmat

    I’m not sure what all those required words mean above. I hope that this goes through. I’m so glad that you got your kindle. I’ll put one of those on my wish list when I finally retire. Again congrats to David. It is an honor to know somebody who has gotten a photo in National Geographic two times. I would send him another box of chocolates,but I have a feeling it would get eaten along the way. It sounds like you both are greatly enjoying your lives down in paradise. Viva Mexico!

  • Katy writes:
    June 14th, 201111:51 amat

    Les, you brought a smile on my face, reading this post, reminded me of times when I just run out of stuff to read at home, and I decided was going to read the whole enciclopedy, so I did it; then I found out the dictionary, lol, and found so many wonderful words I never heard about it so had decided to find a dictionary of antique spanish cause tought it would be awesome, so I did, lol; imagine the quantity of funny and wonderful words I found there, well, just as you know I am still a reading adicted and I do read all that falls in my hands, from a wonderful book to any manual that lands home in any box, hehehehe, to read is meaningful for me, it reflets places I’ll never visit but becomes closer just trought the hands of a kind person to took the time to write it for the pleasure of others,

    Thanks good for the writers that makes this already wonderful world still more interesting for us.

  • Les writes:
    June 14th, 20119:45 amat

    Kathy Mac wrote:

    Don’t forget the libraries at Mom’s and Magana…you can trade books there. Magana’s is really good because it is alphabetic by author….and the food is good too.

    For those of you living in the Lake Chapala area!

  • Joan in Oregon writes:
    June 13th, 201111:10 pmat

    Les, I too absolutely love my Kindle. I got it for the trip to Ajijic and as so glad. When I read about or hear of a book that might interest me I download a sample – if available – and most are. Then if I like the book I can have it in an instant. I have about 100 samples at any given time. Probably will never get all those books read, but it is comforting to have them waiting, and much less bulky.

  • Kathy Westphal writes:
    June 13th, 20116:31 pmat

    I loved this blog….it struck a chord in me…made me wish we were back in Ajijic…yes it is good to be in WI..yes it is easy here…but something is missing in my life since we have been back.
    I sent your newest to a good friend in Ajiic who is recovering from knee surgery in AZ and to one of my best friends here in Menomonee Falls. THANK you..thank you.

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