It was Junior's birthday and the mailman brought him a book as a present from Aunt Alice. "What is it?" he asked gloomily. "That's what they call a book, dear," his mother explained. "It's what they make a movie out f for television."—American Mercury
Libraries are holding their own against all competitors: TV, automobiles and lawnmowers . . . . TV will never replace a book; surveys show that it actually stimulates children's interest in non-fiction reading. "I wasn't going to take books today, but I think I'd better," a (Canadian) boy told his librarian. "I might get lonesome for them over the holidays." For all those like him, a Massachusetts children's library displays this inscription: "Books are keys to wisdom's treasure; Books are gates to lands of pleasure; Books are paths that upward lead; Books are friends. Come, let us read."—"Books are Friends," Imperial Oil Review
To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it.—Herman Melville
A small boy paying a 2-cent fine for an overdue book he had returned to the library, looked thoughtfully at the librarian and asked: "Can you make a living out of this?"—Capper's Weekly
The love of books is an infectious sort of thing. Children catch it, they don't learn it.—Walter B. Bares, Education
J. Stevens Stock, a researcher whose job is to try to predict the sales of paperback books in advance of publication, relates an interesting experience in connection with one of their tests: "We asked a group of people to list their favorite books. They came up with the usual responses—Shakespeare, the Bible, and so on. Then, at the end of the interview we handed each a list of titles, offering a free book for their trouble. The most popular pick was Murder of a Burlesque Queen. Just goes to show the biggest trap you can fall into is believing what people tell you they want!"
Books have led some to learning, and others to madness when they swallow more than they can digest.—Petrarch, Saturday Review
For several years two men had played chess regularly together. They were quite evenly matched and there was keen rivalry between them. Then, one man's game improved so much he started beating his rival nearly every game they played. The other man, after much thought, finally came up with an idea. He went to a bookstore, picked up a 4-volume set on How to Play Chess. He sent the books to his friend as a gift. It wasn't long before they were evenly matched again!—Dan Bennett
Many of the finer things are to be found in books if we profit by the opinions of learned people. The following expresses the estimate of a few writers as to the value of books:
Channing said: "God be thanked for books. They are the voices of the distant and the dead, and make us heir of the spiritual life of the past ages. In the best books, great men talk to us, give us our most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours."
Carlyle said: "All that mankind has done, thought, or been is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books. They are the chosen possession of men."
Emerson said. "Give me a book, health, and a summer day, and I will make the pomp of kings look ridiculous."—Sunshine Magazine
A bookseller had a statement for a book curtly returned to him with an accompanying note which read:
"Dear Sir: I didn't order this book. If I did, you didn't send it. If you sent it, I didn't get it; if I got it, I paid for it. If I didn't, I won't."
They borrow books they will not buy,
They have no ethics or religions.
I wish some kind of Burbankian guy
Could cross my books with homing pigeons.—Carolyn Wells, Saturday Review
"How dare you recommend such a vile book for my daughter to read," cried an enraged parent to the English teacher. The teacher, completely baffled, asked for further elucidation.
"Why," said the mother indignantly, "she tells me you recommended a book called The Vices of the Virgins!"
"Oh," the teacher breathed a sigh of relief, "There has been a slight misunderstanding The book I suggested was Devices for Diversions."—M. M. Myers, Los Angeles School Journal
When I am dead
I hope it may be said
His sins were scarlet
But his books were read.—Hilaire Belloc, Quote
The books which tend
To have a sad end
Are those I lend
To a so-called friend.—Sidney Brody, Quote
Take the advice which Saint-Pierre makes the old man utter in the story that has touched so many thousands of hearts—Paul and Virginia, a great book and a good book: "Literature, my son, is the gift of heaven. Like the rays of the sun, it enlightens, it rejoices, it warms, it is a divine fire. It is this that reminds us of the rules of human life. It calms the passions, it represses the vices, it excites to virtue by the august examples of the good and great men which it records, and of whom it presents to us the ever-honored images. It is a daughter of heaven which has descended to earth to charm away the evils of the human race. Read, then, my son. The wise men who have written before our time are travelers who have preceded us in the paths of misfortune, and who reach out to us their hands to invite us to join their society when all else have abandoned us. A good book is a good friend."