"Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time."
Our 2016 journey began in August with the launch of the new Books & Benches website, and we are grateful to each of you who took the time to visit, comment, and explore the wonderful authors and books found within these pages. While we may keep our noses in books most of the year, we understand that 2016 wasn't without its challenges around the world. However, we do prefer to focus on the positive and escape into worlds created by the many amazing authors who want to share the words they've written with readers from all reaches of the globe.
"A parent or a teacher has only his lifetime; a good book can teach forever."
The world is an imperfect place sprinkled with perfect flashes of time, and we are not the first to discover that books and reading have the ability to move ordinary moments and memories into the extraordinary. There is freedom to be found within the pages of a well-written novel, a cleverly-told tale, or a great work of literature. A freedom that those who do not read, cannot understand. A book is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and to others. They can lift a downtrodden spirit, offer a passport to adventures otherwise not taken, and give refuge to those seek an escape.
"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."
As we say goodbye to one year and embark on a new, may we open our minds to the possibilities offered both by our fellow man and by the written word. Remember the gifts of kindness, love, and literacy as we consider what we may do to enrich our own lives and the lives of others.
From our Books & Benches family to you, we offer warm wishes for a happy and enlightened New Year.