Old books,timeless wisdom and us





Image Artist: Gaurav Bose


A wonderful day at an old books shop..

We all love a good book, a deep message, a true story. These are the things we learn from, that touch and move us, as we cuddle into a book on a cloudy day.   So when my old dear friend invited me to go to an old-second hand, used book shop, I couldn’t resist (not that I can resist going to any bookshop, anywhere ) I thought it would be an interesting evening. It turned out to be a very reflective , even touching one.

My friend told me, that she loved old books because they have yellowing pages, inscriptions from people written in them and a lovely old smell. I didn’t really have such a romantic notion but as I entered the place, things began to change.

First it amazed me, just like life does in all its hues. We looked around amazed at what could be found – everything. Literally, it seemed like all kinds of books were here- all single copies. Excitement crept in and we were beginning to go a little bit crazy. Just like little kids when they begin to experience the world for the first time.

Isn’t this what life is – excitement, joy, thrills at all the wonderful things around us? Everything seems new and like an adventure. So when we are kids we intrepidly explore.

Then we have to grow up and make choices.

We cannot have the whole book shop. So we have to choose, to decide, to chart our course. I decided to start with the list of books I wanted. They didn’t have them and that’s okay. I felt a little upset, I always ask for books no one has, unfair.  However, I wouldn’t let the sadness take hold of me.

I realized that’s its okay. I’ll find them in another place, at another time if I look harder. Or maybe its best to let go.

There were still many options before me. Would I look at them or walk away empty handed. I looked.

Sometimes we have to let go of our notions and ideas and just explore, try new things, walk a new road, so I did.

And I found the world.

Books on mushroom cooking, books on happiness, a National Geographic on discovering the first galaxies, a handbook of Bach flower medicine(never heard of that before).

Life is indeed amazing in all that its holds. Who knew, till we set out to explore and be amazed. Its good this – to be amazed and in awe of life’s exquisite array of wisdom.

My friend wanted to show me a book special to her. The book was “Gift from the sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

As she strolled along the many aisles of books, she found two copies of the book. This is rare in a second hand book store. All books are  used and old so only single copies of books are found. She was delighted, she found two. The book is a wise one, one that had touched her and she wanted to share it with her friends. She found two. When we want to give and truly share, from our hearts, the Universe responds. Rare things happen. Love and care, are only waiting to be spread. Open the barricade and it gushes forward in full force. I could tell from the look on my friends face- it’s a wonderful feeling.

I was looking for books on healing. Pulled out a few by the same author and I couldn’t decide which one I wanted. I was confused. So I read the blurbs- different newspapers and magazines praised the books. Sheesh, choices and choices!!

I took a deep breath and looked closely. Two books had the same title!! Different covers but it was the same name and the same book. This is what confusion does to a person , makes one forget to look with clarity. We have to take a breath and focus on what is in front of us.

Indeed, even if our jackets are different, often the message, the spirit, the stories are all the same .  Healing touches us, love moves us, gifts make us smile.

I opened a book called Love, Medicine and Healing. On it was written “ A friend loveth at all times”. It was a book by a surgeon talking about the soul’s power to heal. My friend and I wondered. Why would anyone give this away??  So I bought it, to cherish , acknowledge and respect the sentiment with which that quote was written.

And as I bought the book, it struck me. Books, words of advice, are all good, but they take on another dimension all together when they have a real story attached to them.

This is what binds us together – to share our tears and joy, to cry and laugh together, to learn from wise people as they teach us what life in turn had taught them.  It is a treasure, to learn from the experiences of another’s life, to value their wrinkles and pain, to laugh in each others joys, to learn from experienced friends, and old books – to listen to the stories they have to say.

Books and wisdom, touch us, move us, provide us with hope and comfort as we walk on, ever gracious for these gifts, these lamp posts on our paths of life.

Note: Do you buy old books? When you look back at the old books you have, what memories do they bring back? Looking forward to your interesting stories and wise reflections in the comments section.

About Uzma

Welcome . This blog is a place of reflection ,a place of simple inspiration. A place where we share the simplicity and grandeur of life, as it teaches us, humbles us and leaves us full of gratitude. The journey is one of sheer Grace.
This entry was posted in Books, Gratitude, Life lessons and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Old books,timeless wisdom and us

  1. With every new article of yours you come out stronger and wiser. 🙂

    I love books and I love old books especially and I have been to old bookstores just to reacquaint myself with the feeling of discovering something new (and yet old).

    Loved reading this post Uzma. Good job.

    • uzma7 says:

      @ Abubakar. Thank you so much. Really appreciate your words. Am trying to write when I feel the most inspired and certain. I love what you say that old book stores are places of discovering something new (and yet old)!!

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  3. Uzma, you are incredibly gifted with seeing deeper meaning in the things you do and even more adept at expressing your ideas. Love this post.

    • uzma7 says:

      @ The Demigoddess. Am humbled by your gracious comment. Thank you so much. It is a gift everyone has, to look beyond the apparent, beyond our conditioning and to see the meaning in every moment, in all of life. Sometimes I think its why we’re here. To see the beauty everywhere, to grow. Thank you for stopping by.

  4. Aysel says:


    I love book stores – old or new, I think that one hour spent in a book store browsing through stacks of books, reading excerpts is like an hour spent meditating. My office happens to be across the book store – so on days filled with stressful events and daunting projects I make sure to stop by the store “to recharge”. The atmosphere, the smell of paper and print, the touch of book covers, strangers sitting in corners, deeply absorbed in reading – it’s a place where time stands still. And many times I was struck with amazement: whenever my mind was all wrapped around a certain problem and I happened to go to a book store – I would randomly pick a book and suddenly get my answer.

    You made some great discoveries – going home with both books and some life wisdom 🙂

    • uzma7 says:

      @Aysel. Great to see you here again.I love how you find your answers in books. Its a gift.Life’s synchronicity, no? Indeed , time does stand still in a book store. You’re very lucky to have one across your office, especially since you find your solutions in books. A message from the universe. Aysel asks ,and she receives. The answers are nearby, just across the street 🙂

  5. I love books! It is my addiction;) Gifts From The Sea is one of my all time favorites. I’ve read it several times and have given copies as gifts. What a lovely way to share your day with us. I loved the format of this post. Thanks!

  6. uzma7 says:

    @ Tess. So good to hear that it is your one of your favourites. Have just discovered it and it is very touching. Glad you liked the post. Always a pleasure to share. Thank you for being here,dear Tess, means a lot.

  7. Uzma,

    I feel your passion. I truly love good books. I Read a lot of my books on Kindle these days and most of the “self help” or “empowerment” type books I listen to while exercising or running.

    There is something special about a book, though. I personally think it is the smell and heft.

    One of my favorite times as a youngster was when I found “The Strand” Bookstore in NYC for the first time. The tagline for the store is “miles and miles of books”, and they really mean it. Over the years I have spent many days in there shopping 4-5 hours at a time.

    And I don’t shop… other than books I can be in and out of any store in 15 minutes. Even a large and important purchases, like a computer, only takes 30 minutes of shopping and comparing.

    Books, though… books are special…

  8. uzma7 says:

    @ Steve. WOW. Love your story with books. Yup, 4-5 hours in a book store is special.

    I think we love books because they contain so much information, so many stories, emotions, learning, explorations.

    Yup, its a passion indeed. Love the Strand bookstore line. Miles and miles of books, indeed. Its more like, miles and miles of endless fascination.

    Thank you so much for stopping by and your interesting comment

  9. Amulya says:

    Dear friend Uzma,

    What a beautiful, soul-stirring summation of our wonderful evening together. Thank you for making the experience immortal.

    You already have said in your write-up almost everything I feel for old books, and second-hand stores. Only one more thing I’d like to add is the joy of having enjoyed a book, is only surpassed by the joy of sharing it with a like-minded soul. I’m so glad that that evening gave us both many oppurtunities to do so 🙂

    Fantastic writing, as always.

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  11. Uzma – A hug first…..you’re really very precious. I am amazed at your insights and wisdom. Thank you for this post….It was brilliant and I loved it. (Love old books too…….where was this shop?)

    • uzma7 says:

      @ Corinne. Dear, dear Corinne. Thank you so so much for the hug. Much needed and much appreciated , my friend. Your support and kind words mean a lot to me 🙂
      The book store is in lakdi-ka pul on the way to Bashirbagh, next to a petrol pump.

  12. Gareth says:

    Hello Uzma,

    Yes – I love browsing old book shops. I have a beautiful old copy of “The Swiss Family Robinson” with the inscription “To Mary from Roger – Xmas 1933”. I bought that from Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast a long time back and it has travelled around the world with me!

    Currently I am reading “Barnaby Rudge” by Charles Dickens and although it was written 150 years I am amazed at how our human problems and characteristics change so little.

    Thank you for a lovely post.

    • uzma7 says:

      @ Gareth. That is just incredible to have a book that dates to 1933. Like you say, human characteristics don’t really change. Wisdom is always available,we have to keep finding it and embodying it as we travel. Thank YOU for sharing your stories with us and for stopping by.

  13. Hannah says:

    Uzma, What a wonderful piece. Exploring the book store and relating your adventure to your sense of adventure and experience in life… an interesting parallel! Loved the read!

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