Wendell Berry continues to spend Sunday mornings in the Kentucky woods, and his readers will be rewarded. At age 82, he notes that “life does not relent or become easier as death approaches.” He asks, “How then may you come yet alive to right-mindedness and right prayer?” Although grief and “nightmares of the age” interrupt his sleep, he is eased by nature’s “numinous and exalted” presence.
There was a shallow moss gray basin set with bunches of grapes. The grapes were chiseled green with the ripeness of their September harvest. There was a pert glazed pitcher, black as obsidian, filled with cold water. There were six linen napkins with red diagonal strips laxly laid by earthenware plates.
But no one sat at the low walnut table. There was no shepherd or mastiff nearby. No, Old Pritchard’s family—bless them!— was casting about somewhere below for his lean body, his cracked bones.
Print books remain significantly more popular than digital books, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. The bad news is that the number of people who reported reading a book in any format last year was 73 percent, down from 79 percent in 2011 when Pew first started gathering data on the reading habits of America (Publishers Weekly, September 16).