The Bookshelf hosted its second film society meeting last week, and after adding more chairs for the overflowing crowd, we all sat down together to watch True Grit. I'm not sure if I can adequately express the joy I experience when events like these come together for our little team of booksellers.
The film society -- like so many of the changes and new events you see in the store -- is a product of love. I attended a small liberal arts college in Montgomery, Alabama, and I'm so grateful for the education I received there. My husband and I talk all the time about our years learning at the feet of some of our favorite teachers, about what it was like to be big fish in a little pond. Our three years spent on that small college campus inspired our move to Thomasville, and now, I'm watching myself -- perhaps unknowingly -- implement the ideas and programs my old professors implemented on that tiny university campus.
At Faulkner, I was president of a social club. Editor of the newspaper. Member of the Chesterton Society. And an avid film society attendee. Jordan and I would go together to the bi-monthly meetings, sit with other students and discuss the classic films our professor chose for us. Casablanca. High Noon. The meetings weren't lengthy; the discussion maybe not the caliber of FSU film school students, but you know what? They were fun, and they introduced me to worlds I wouldn't have previously explored.
Now, every quarter, I try to create the same atmosphere at The Bookshelf. Last Thursday, 24 of us gathered to watch True Grit. I had seen the movie -- and loved it -- but I had never read the book. (I know; I know.) I spent Wednesday and Thursday racing my way through the adventures of Mattie Ross, only to wonder why on earth I'd never been introduced to her before. Mattie is just as spunky as Scout Finch and as stubborn as Jo March. She's every bit the heroine, and I loved debating ideas about True Grit with other readers and movie goers.
This is why I love The Bookshelf. It's why Jordan and I bought into the store over a year ago.
My college had this mission statement, this concept we were reminded of each day as we traveled throughout campus: Faulkner's goal was to give each student an "education of the whole person." Jordan and I are lifelong learners, and so many of you are too. I love the depth of knowledge I'm surrounded by each day in my dealings with The Bookshelf; I appreciate my quirky customers and friends and what they have to teach me as we talk about books and poetry and music and paper. So many of you remind me of the professors I loved at that tiny school in Alabama, and I think -- with every event and discussion and book selection -- I'm continuing to receive what my college professors always envisioned for me: an education of my whole person.
It's nice to know the learning never really stops.
See you in the shop,