Saturday, October 23, 2010
What good are books?
Books delight us when prosperity smiles upon us; they comfort us inseparably when stormy fortune frowns on us. They lend validity to human compacts, and no serious judgments are propounded without their help. Arts and sciences, all the advantages of which no mind can enumerate, consist in books. How highly must we estimate the wondrous power of books, since through them we survey the utmost bounds of the world and time, and contemplate the things that are as well as those that are not, as it were in the mirror of eternity. In books we climb mountains and scan the deepest gulfs of the abyss; in books we behold the finny tribes that may not exist outside of their native waters, distinguish the properties of streams and springs and of various lands; from books we dig out gems and metals and the materials of every ,,kind of mineral, and learn the virtues of herbs and trees and plants, and survey at will the wholy progeny of Neptune, Ceres, and Pluto.
Books are masters who instruct us without words of anger, without bread or money. If you approach them they are not asleep. If you seek them, they do not hide, if you blunder they do not scold, if you are ignorant, they do not laugh at you.
-- Richard de Bury --
There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry --
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll --
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human soul.
-- Emily Dickinson --
I wonder if in 2050 AD, someone will sit down and write: "Kindles delight us when prosperity smiles upon us; they comfort us inseparably when stormy fortune frowns upon us . . ."
"There is no Frigate like a Kindle . . ."