The value of books
“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside a dog it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx.
I love books. I have a large and ever expanding library of books. I collect them. They are my constant companions. I have piles of them alongside my favourite reading chair in my office. I have a pile of them alongside my bed. I constantly have four or five or more on the go at once. I have many more that I regularly refer to in my daily activities, especially in relation to my writing, books such as dictionaries. Others I dip into at random, enjoying a page or two as the mood or occasion takes me. I take books with me when I travel. Hardly a day passes without me having read something.
More recently, since getting back into study again, the local public library and the university library are frequent haunts. The regular stream of overdue notices are not a sign of tardiness; it is a reluctance to give up wonderful books that oh so briefly come into my life. In this context I rarely if ever borrow book; parting with them is such sweet sorrow.
I live to Read, and I read to Live.
PS: The bit about the dog is a mystery to me. This is a typical Marxism: not having ever been inside a dog, I couldn’t even begin to imagine that world. It must be terrible though. Imagine NEVER being able to read.
I’m in constant awe of the idea that black lines on a white background can transmit so much information and imagination. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.
It is magic indeed – and those little squiggles are so powerful they can bore me, enthrall me, amaze me, enrage me and even transform my life. I love the ones that can make me think, or make me cry with laughter – or sadness – or their sheer beauty.