Companionship of Books
A good book may be among the best of friends. It is the same today that it always was, and it will never change. It is the most patient and cheerful of companions. It does not turn its back upon us in times of adversity or distress. It always receives us with the same kindness; amusing and instructing us in youth, and comforting and consoling us in age.
Men often discover their affinity to each other by the love they have each for a book --- just as two persons sometimes discover a friend by the admiration which both have for a third. There is an old proverb, 鈥淟ove me, love my dog.鈥?But there is more wisdom in this:鈥淟ove me, love my book.鈥?The book is a truer and higher bond of union. Men can think, feel, and sympathize with each other through their favorite author. They live in him together, and he in them.
鈥淏ooks,鈥?said Hazlitt,鈥渨ind into the heart; the poet's verse slides in the current of our blood. We read them when young, we remember them when old. We feel that it has happened to ourselves. They are to be had very cheap and good. We breathe but the air of books.鈥?/P>
A good book is often the best urn of a life enshrining the best that life could think out; for the world of a man's life is, for the most part, but the world of his thoughts. Thus the best books are treasuries of good words, the golden thoughts, which, remembered and cherished, become our constant companions and comforters. 鈥淭hey are never alone,鈥?said Sir Philip Sidney,鈥渢hat are accompanied by noble thoughts.鈥?/P>
The good and true thought may in times of temptation be as an angel of mercy purifying and guarding the soul. It also enshrines the germs of action, for good words almost always inspire to good works.
Books possess an essence o