Welcome to the Trinity Baptist College Library, home to one of the largest theological collections in Northeast Florida. The library houses a total collection of over 40,000 volumes, 130 periodicals, and 500 DVDs, available for check out.
The library’s mission is to provide students with the research materials necessary to attain their educational goals in an environment that is both pleasant, and conducive to effective study, while furthering the progress of knowledge and creativity for the students at Trinity Baptist College.
The Professor's Bookshelf
I acquired the taste for my all-time favorite book on a dare. When I was in seventh grade, my brother-in-law tossed me a copy of Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities and told me I’d never get through the first chapter. That was a challenge I couldn’t resist.
Luckily for me, it was a short first chapter, notable for its iconic opening, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” truly an apt description of the French Revolution.
After that first chapter, which I got through easily enough, the real story begins with a man falling asleep on a stage coach and having a dream in which an old man tells him he’s been buried alive for eighteen years. I wanted to know who this old man was and why and where he’d been buried.
The old man isn’t the only intriguing character. From Jerry, the strange grave robber, to the beautiful Lucy, the good but dull Charles Darnay, the sinister Madame Defarge, the excessive and cruel Monsieur the Marquis, and especially the unlucky but magnetic bad boy Sydney Carton, the novel’s characters swept me into a world I had never read about in any history book.
A Tale of Two Cities is a story of brutality, vengeance, sacrifice, and redemption during the turbulent French Revolution, but it’s also a love story. Its memorable images include the bloody grinding stone, the decadent chocolate drunk by the hated Marquis, and the incessant knitting of Madame Defarge, who knits while she plots the denouncement of countless aristocrats so that one never knew whose neck would next be placed under the blade of La Guillotine. And, of course, the most compelling image of the book comes near the end, with the dreams and prophesies of another man, a man not quite as old as the one in the dream at the beginning, but closer to the end of his own life.
These images, these characters, this story made a lasting impression on me. When I finished the book that first time, way back in seventh grade, shaking tears out of my eyes to clear my vision, I held it close to savor the emotional release and then immediately turned back to the first chapter and read it straight through again. And I still thank my brother-in-law for his dare.
I pass that dare along to you: I dare you to get through the first chapter—and then keep reading.
~ Rachel Hozey
Header image by Abhi Sharma. Used under creative commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode