Friday, October 31, 2014

{From My Commonplace}

"A beautiful thing in life is the friendship for books ... There are in them, for everybody who will seek, wise words, good counsel, companies of great people, fairies, friends for every day, besides wonders we never see nor dream of in daily life."

"Some of the great men have told us about their love for books; how they have saved penny by penny slowly to buy one, or how after the day's labor a good book and the firelight were prized above anything else ... Imagine the number of heart-thoughts there must be in a shelf full of good books!"

"You will not only love books, but gain from them something of the thoughts they contain. We might, had we time, talk of classic books, but as we have already talked of classic music we know what the principal thing is. It is that good thought, out of the heart, be expressed in a scholarly way--'Great thought needs great expression.' This teaches us the necessity for choosing good books for our instruction and for our entertainment.  They present beautiful pictures to us truthfully, or they present truth to us beautifully. And these are the first test of a written thought--its truth and its beauty."

"A fine pleasure will come from a good book even after we are quite done with it. As we see it in years after it has been read there comes back to one a remembrance of all the old pleasures, and with it a sense of thankfulness for so pleasant a friendship. Hence any book that has given us joy or peace or comfort is well worth not only good care, but a place for always; as a worthy bit of property."

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