Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.

I hang out in a very cool cafe. It’s eclectic without being pretentious. Cool without trying to be cool. It’s Berkeley circa 1973 meets Arizona Real.

Plus best Americanos in town hand’s down!

A post-worthy as the cafe is, it’s not today’s subject — but rather a moment in that cafe.

As I settle at my little round table, this captures my attention.


Notice the guy in the white hat.

He’s reading a book. Intensely, focused.

Not a computer screen. A book!

As a lifelong reader of books — books of actual papers, inks and spines, not cyberspace — I’m both joyful and saddened by societal shifts in literacy when I see someone reading a book.

I could’ve left the moment — worthy unto itself — there.

But extraordinarily curious minds need to know, explore, learn learn learn for life!

I certainly did not want to interrupt or interfere with this fine moment.

I know how I get when I’m reading and writing. I’ve always said that bombs could be going off around me and I’d continue reading and writing. I’m that focused. That AT ONE with words.

What IS that older gentleman, 50-ish, in the hat reading? He hasn’t moved or even looked up in a good 30 minutes.

A kindred spirit. I am in love!!!

True, he’s reading not from the big thick book, rather a second thin paperback, and scribbling notes. Perhaps he’s taking a class.

To satisfy insatiable curiosity, I employ my phone camera’s zoom.


Ah ha!

Heavy stuff, Goethe. Prolific prolific & creative thinking human being …

A jump onto Amazon for a better look:


Excerpt: “Rüdiger Safranski’s Goethe: Life as a Work of Art is the first definitive biography in a generation to tell the larger-than-life story of the writer considered to be the Shakespeare of German literature.”

Reckon there ain’t a single American under age 30, perhaps 40, with rare exceptions of students and individuals of arts, writing and culture, who’s even heard of Goethe, never mind read him.

As we speak, the guy in the white hat is reading from that book. Thick too! — about 3-4 inches. He appears to be on … about page 15. Work’s cut out for him!

Praise and glory to all who read books.

A beautiful moment at the cool cafe indeed.

Only fitting that the headline bears his words …



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