Enjoy visiting my website? Find it useful? Consider making a contribution with your purchase at my Amazon.com book store, froginawell. Heck, forget the “contribution,” you’ll find many good deals on new, old, and vintage books.

On the side, I sell books through my Amazon.com storefront: froginawell. It is a nice “part time” job for somebody who enjoys ideas, books, and meeting people.

I’ve always dreamed of having my own library. And through the “book business,” I have access to 3,500 books that circulate in the inventory and another 1,000 or so in my growing personal collection, some of which I hope to read into retirement.

Now what does ‘fronginawell’ mean?” I first learned it as a  Korean proverb: 우물 안 개구리. It’s actually attributed to 4th BCE Chinese philosopher Chuang-tzu (Korea, China and Japan are three adjacent northeast Asian countries). As a frog in a well is only familiar with the bottom of the well, it ignorant of the world beyond.

Well, ignorant or wise, I think that generally describes the human condition; it describes everybody, every group, or every nation. With books, we frogs can build the steps to the top of the well and join together in the larger world.

Here’s the original text in Chinese according to Wikibooks.org:


In English:

The frog lived down in a well where there was all he had to live. One day, a softshelled turtle came by and told him about the sea. ‘The sea? Hah! It’s paradise in here. Nothing can be better than this well. Why don’t you come down and share my joy?’ The turtle tried, and failed as the mouth of the well was too small. ‘Why don’t you go see the sea instead? During Yu the Great’s reign, there was flooding for nine out of ten years, yet the sea barely grew an inch. During Tang of Shang’s reign, droughts were experienced in seven out of eight years, yet the sea hardly shrank. Being unaffected by such disasters is the joy of living in the sea.’

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