Embrace Foundation is a non-profit,
educational foundation set up to create
better understanding between people of
different religions, cultures, traditions and
Embrace Foundation works to bring
leaders and scholars of world-wide
religions, cultures and philosophies
together by sponsoring forums, seminars,
lectures and developing an international
exchange program. Embrace Foundation
is particularly concerned with reaching the
world public through the media.
Embrace Foundation is made up of many people who love to read and we love libraries and
bookstores, especially those that sell used books.. We are going to be reviewing many inspiring
books of all faith traditions and from many different cultural traditions.
…Even bookstores in far corners of the globe act as powerful magnets for some of us. India is home
to an all time favorite bookstore based in Hrishikish in the Himalayas. In Ethiopia, “Book World” is a
world of information and fascination. An especially delightful aspect of visiting Lebanon this year for
the founders was spending time in a bookshop in the Beirut’s Hamra District. This contributed to a
particularly happy walking expedition because books not found in the United States were available
in French, English and Arabic.
We would like to mention a growing threat that could rapidly jeopardize freedom of thought and open
the door to the rewriting of history. This is the exclusive use of e-readers and the possible decline of
printed books and magazines.
Computerized readers are an asset and a boon to many, not the least to those who travel
extensively and do not want to be burdened with carrying a load of books and magazines. The
content of e-readers is limited however, to only subjects and authors those who operate the
"system" want to offer the reader. Many of the magazines and books we quote or suggest will never
be offered on e-readers.
Additionally, many of the most important and inspiring books on spiritual and cultural traditions are
found only out of print. These books can be found in used bookstores or sometimes ordered by
email "book search" operations. Embrace prefers patronizing the many independent used, rare and
new bookstores when we are able,not only in the USA and Europe but also in non-Western nations
as well. These are favorite haunts for relaxing, browsing and buying. The advantage of going
personally to a bookstore or a library, is that in the process of perusing the shelves or a topic, one
often comes across a book or author, one had never known about compelling us to broaden our
perspective and our horizon.
This year, a greatly beloved writer died, Ray Bradbury. He wrote the famous book Fahrenheit 451
about the burning of books in a growing fascist government. The story is a precious reminder to us
to protect access to truths however inconvenient they may be to us.
The problem with a decline in bookstores is that those who wish to control what the public has
access to can easily control the content of e-readers. Even now there are people lobbying hard to
limit access to only certain websites and to pass laws to outlaw free speech based on very nebulous
definitions. Generally, the definitions lie within the perimeters of those who question "authority"
whether political or corporate.
Books need to be valued, protected, published, republished and maintained, especially in the event
computerized data is ever lost. Support your library, support your bookstores, especially small
WHERE WE FIND SPECIAL BOOKS
Many of the books we recommend may only be found in libraries or used bookstores or stores that
include “small press” publishers.
In general, small publishers issue the best spiritual books (as opposed to “mega” publisher “self -
help” books). Of course, this statement is not without exceptions. In addition, university presses
generally publish the majority of the best scholarly work written with regard to philosophy, world
cultures and religion. The mega book stores have often denied books of small publisher’s entrance
into their venues due to a monopolistic relationship they have maintained over many years with
However, the future is no longer moving in the direction of corporate publishers so readers will
continue to see a greater proliferation and exposure to smaller publishers. The most educated and
better-informed members of or populace generally give a miss to the commercial and often contrived
Best Seller lists for the purpose of reading the type of books we recommend.
BOOKS AS COMMUNITY
Now Is the Time - To Begin a New World
Now Is the Time that individuals in western nations have a unique opportunity to reflect on and give
priority to the meaning of “humanity.” Citizens of western nations need to make life choices that
once again reflect joyful resourcefulness. There are myriads of precious opportunities surrounding
us and we should resolve to make the most of them.
Now Is the Time that citizens of the western world need to reassess their concept of “community” to
recreate new communities shorn of superficial relationships and pretense. Many individuals take
their local libraries and bookstores for granted but libraries and bookstores can help one connect
with like-minded people, neighbors, book clubs, charitable events and enough activities to keep
entire families connected in a positive neighborhood environment.
Many bookstores and public libraries have children’s rooms with special hours for story telling.
Bookstores offer talks by authors. Frequently bookstores act as art galleries in their respective
towns and so offer art shows. Often libraries invite musicians to perform, offer science or
educational demonstrations and movie screenings. A large majority of public libraries offer not only
free book rental, but free music rental, free VHS /DVD rental, free time on computers, WIFI if you
bring your own computer and of course free experts to help you with references so you can gain
information on just about anything.
With all this being said, it is important not to confuse knowledge gained from literacy with
intelligence, insight or sagaciousness. Reading can help all people to open the doors to greater
understanding of the world around them but it can not give you common sense, sensitivity or acute
perception. In fact, in 1982 in the process of forming Embrace, the founders hiked 25 miles into
Kashmir to meet a Holy Man who could not read or write, yet he could tell you not only all about
yourself, even though he had never seen or heard of you before. He was aware years in advance of
the wars that were to come to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Go On a Book Treasure Hunt Tour
If you do not have a lot of money to vacation nowadays (and few people do) consider taking a Book
Treasure Hunt Tour. Enjoy touring bookstores and libraries in your county, canton or province. For
those with special interests this can be extremely productive in uncovering new and rare resources.
There are all sorts of libraries and specialty bookstores. There are libraries connected with historical
landmarks and museums - with reading gardens. There are huge magnificent public libraries such
as the main library in New York City that house rare and precious manuscripts. There are
bookshops that specialize in one topic and there are bookstores that sell only paperbacks. There
are book exchanges where books & tapes, CD’s & records are traded. Children will especially enjoy
the tour if you make enquiries ahead of time as to special activities going on when you visit.