Embrace Foundation is a non-profit, educational
foundation set up to create better understanding
between people of different religions, cultures,
traditions and world philosophies.
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
…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 independent ones.
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”
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
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.