Books: the necessities of life

“Give us a house furnished with books rather than furniture. Or both, if you can, but books at any rate! . . . Books are the windows through which the soul looks out. A house without them is like a room without windows. . . .

Let us pity the poor rich men who live barrenly in great bookless houses. And let us congratulate the poor, for in our day, books are so cheap that a man may every year add many volumes to his library for what his tobacco and beer would cost him. Among the earliest ambitions to be [fostered] in clerks, workmen, journeymen — and indeed, all that are struggling in the race of life — is that of owning, and constantly adding to, a library of good books. . . .

It is a man’s duty to have books. A [personal] library is not a luxury, but one of the necessities of life.”

– Henry Ward Beecher


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