As you might have read in the description, this blog is about theological reflection amidst the uncertain journey of life and vocation, along with rediscovering my hometown of Wichita, Kansas. I have the privilege in this “inaugural” post to write about both at the same time!
In James Sire’s Habits of the Mind, the author relates a particular angst common to those of us occupied with the written word: “When I first visit a great bookstore–say Eighth Day Books in Wichita or Blackwell’s in Oxford–I am exhilarated. So many of the books I have always yearned to read are there. What a joy! But before I leave, a mild form of despair creeps over me. I will never have the time” (p. 171). I’m well acquainted with this despair, since, as you just read, Eighth Day is a prominent feature of my hometown.
This bookstore, owned and operated by the incomparable Warren Farha, is a treasure trove of classical literature and works by the Inklings; Patristic studies and Eastern Christian mysticism and spirituality; works of theology and biblical studies, philosophy, history, and local interest; children’s literature; works by (often award-winning) local authors; and antique texts.
I cannot communicate to you here the smells of books upon books mixed with old paper and a bit of coffee, or the soft sounds of string music playing in the background as the visitor indulges in the space and experience that is Eighth Day, but perhaps a few more images (click on any to enlarge) will give you some sense of the richness of this place that not only holds so many stories of magical realms, but could belong in them in the role of home: that place of comfort and refreshment to which characters in the midst of uncertain journeys so long to return.
If you have the time, enjoy Eighth Day’s website. If you ever have the opportunity, though, come to this wonderful bookstore in person. Enter into this very special space, and stay a while if you’d like. They won’t mind.