On the Importance of Books

“‘Books,’ says Milton, ‘are among the sweetest luxuries of our world;’ and Channing affirms that ‘in the best books, great men talk to us, with us, and give us their most precious thoughts. Books are the voices of the distant and the dead. Books are the true levellers. They give to all who will faithfully use them the society and the presence of the best and greatest of our race. No matter how poor I am; no matter though the prosperous of my own time will not enter my obscure dwelling. If learned men and poets will enter and take up their abode under my roof- if Milton will cross my threshold to sing to me of Paradise; and Shakespeare open to me the worlds of imagination, and the workings of the human heart; and Franklin enrich me with his practical wisdom- I shall not pine for want of intellectual companionship, and I may become a cultivated man, though excluded from what is called the best society in the place where I live.’ Books have in all ages commanded the veneration of mankind; …”

 

Walker, Edward. The Art of Book-Binding : Its Rise and Progress : Including a Descriptive Account of the New York Book-Bindery. The Oak Knoll Series on the History of the Book., edited by Paul S. Koda. New Castle, Del: Oak Knoll Books, 1984.

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