On the Bookshelf – The Book Thief

The Book Thief BookOne of the books I’m currently reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Amazon.com describes the book thus: “The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak’s unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul. It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.”

I’m only 137 pages into the book, but am hooked already. I wanted to share this passage with you that I just read today. In the story, the main protagonist, Liesel, is invited into the Mayor’s home by his wife where she discovers a library of books, something she has never seen before – she only owns three books herself. I love the description of her encounter with this library of books!

“Steadily, the room shrank, till the book thief could touch the shelves within a few small steps. She ran the back of her hand along the first shelf, listening to the shuffle of her fingernails gliding across the spinal cord of each book. It sounded like an instrument, or the notes of running feet. She used both hands. She raced them. One shelf against the other. And she laughed. Her voice was sprawled out, high in her throat, and when she eventually stopped and stood in the middle of the room, she spent many minutes looking from the shelves to her fingers and back again.

How many books had she touched?

How many had she felt?

She walked over and did it again, this time much slower, with her hand facing forward, allowing the dough of her palm to feel the small hurdle of each book. It felt like magic, like beauty, as bright lines of light shone down from a chandelier. Several times, she almost pulled a title from its place but didn’t dare disturb them. They were too perfect.”

Are there any other book-lovers out there who can relate to that passage?


About Chris Jordan

Husband. Father. Author. Pastor. High School Bible Teacher. Follower of Jesus. And I enjoy a good cup of coffee!
This entry was posted in Book, book review and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to On the Bookshelf – The Book Thief

  1. Looks like I’m due for a re-read.
    I love when someone points out a segment that speaks to them that I may have missed or forgotten. Will now read with new eyes. And yeah… This is a good book.

    • Chris Jordan says:

      I actually first learned about the book when I saw a trailer for the movie, and it intrigued me. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but am enjoying the book!

  2. I have both read the book and watched the movie, and I can easily say, both were amazing and without a doubt touched my heart. It is not common that a movie is as good as its book, but with The Book Thief, I found myself enjoying the film just as much as I did the book. Markus Zusak has truly captured my heart.

    • Chris Jordan says:

      Thanks for the note, Katie… I haven’t seen the movie yet, but plan to once I finish reading the book!

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