Working at Wellington Square Book Shop these past few years has provided me with many happy days! Lucky for you some may say! Enjoying your work? It is truly a pleasure to work with such fantastic people who all share the love and joy that reading brings. It is a magical atmosphere to be ensconced in books that are new, used, classic and all genres in between. There are unique gifts throughout that are available to be enjoyed by young and old.
But we all know that it’s the human experience we crave, the connection to community and a community we are building! We have welcomed many new faces of late due to the closing of Chester County Book Company and to our being awarded Best of Philly Indie Book Shop. I am thrilled to share with you two new customers I met recently.
A couple came in and were enjoying a drink and treats at the café counter. We began engaging in conversation and sharing our book interests. It turns out he is one of my favorite authors! I nearly hopped over the counter! But I gathered myself together, walked around and greeted Robert and Michaele Wicks with a warm embrace!
Robert Wicks is a renowned psychologist, author and speaker. He has written over 50 books for professionals and the general public. Robert Wicks has spoken all over the world to many types of professionals and students. He brings his message of valuing our strengths, taking charge of self -care and to developing a practice of mindfulness. I have personally read three of his books and have gifted them to others. They are little gems of wisdom offering very practical ways to incorporate his teachings. He draws in the wisdom of not only Western traditions but brings in the teaching of the Desert Fathers and Buddhism. His book “Riding the Dragon:10 Lessons for Inner Strength in Challenging Times” has sold over 50,000 copies! “It is an indispensable spiritual and psychological guide to readers experiencing seasons of adversity”. I love the line from this book that states, “Don’t try to slay your dragons, learn to ride them”. A few of his other books are titled “Everyday Simplicity”, a reviewer writes “Perfect for beginning spiritual seekers and a welcome companion for continuing pilgrims”. Another book is “Perspective: The Calm Within the Storm”. Author Alexandra Fuller states, “This is the kind of book that you can’t put down because it is so necessary”.
In our overly stressed, overly “connected” world Robert Wicks’ books offer us a roadmap to keeping ourselves present to our center by grounding ourselves in prayer and meditation. His writing style is very warm and direct. Give yourself a gift (your first one for self care) and buy one or two of his books. You won’t be sorry!
P.S. We are hoping to have “Bob” to the shop one night in the near future to discuss and sign one of his books. Stay tuned…
We are all on a journey, right? Young or old(er), we are finding our way in life through our routine, everyday experiences, from our traumatic terrible lows to our life-changing, exhilarating highs. Lately, I’ve felt the need to read more about people’s journeys, whether it be memoirs, biographies or spiritual reflections on life, here and “there”.
Many of you have probably read The Alchemist. Required reading in high school or college, or a friend said to you, “hey, you’ve got to read this book - it’s life changing”. It’s the story of a shepherd, a simple man, who goes off in search of buried treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. (Something we all think about doing, right?) Well, in a way, we do journey in search of those treasures, we just might not encounter a gypsy, a king, and an alchemist along the way. Santiago does. He doesn’t falter in his desire to find the treasure. Along the way, he discovers so much more than he set out to find. Obviously, I won’t spoil the ending for you if you haven’t read it yet, but here’s the wonderful thing about this book, it opens up your mind, your world, to thinking bigger, thinking more open, to larger than life understandings about what our journey is all about.
And then there’s Jalamanta. This was a great find. Okay, I know, another desert story. It has been ridiculously hot this summer, so reading about the desert seemed perfectly appropriate. This man’s story differs from Santiago’s because Amado (his earlier name) has been banished to the desert for thirty years because of his religious views and opinions and he is not in search of a physical treasure, but rather enlightenment. Spoiler alert: he finds it. (You learn that early on in the book, so it’s not really a spoiler.)
During his 30 year exile, he has to learn to “trust the power within ourselves”. He discovers, “our purpose in life is to arrive at new levels of awareness and clarity, and the clarity that we create in the soul becomes part of the consciousness of the universe.” Jalamanta chooses to follow the “Path of the Sun” to obtain that clarity. It’s a nature-filled book, how we relate to the Universe and the plants and animals in it, and it’s a peaceful existence that Jalamanta pursues.
I don’t know about you, but these days, with all the unrest in the country and beyond, I find myself seeking simplicity, soulful thinking and stories that calm me, rather than ones that get me angry and fuel the growing fire of bitterness and negativity. Reading a book that is well written always takes my mind to the places that the author describes, and in these two cases, I was taken along a path of hope and peace and goodwill. I enjoyed those journeys - both the shepherd’s and the man called Jalamanta, “one who strips away the veils that blind the soul”.
If you’re seeking some soulful introspection, or just want to pick up a book that has real substance about life’s purpose and how to obtain some real peace in your life, either of these books offer a means to that end.
Staff of Wellington Square Book Shop