Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Quotations on Books

5 Great Quotations on Books

“If you cannot read all your books, at any rate handle, or as it were, fondle them – peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that if you do not know what is in them, you at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them at any rate be your acquaintances. If they cannot enter the circle of your life, do not deny them at least a nod of recognition.”
― from "Painting as a Pastime" by Winston Churchill

“Give me a house furnished with books rather than furniture! Both, if you can, but books at any rate!”
-from "The Duty of Owning Books" by Horace Mann

"I consider as lovers of books not those who keep their books hidden in their store-chests and never handle them, but those who, by nightly as well as daily use thumb them, batter them, wear them out, who fill out all the margins with annotations of many kinds, and who prefer the marks of a fault they have erased to a neat copy full of faults."
-from "Letter to an unidentified friend (1489)", in The Collected Works of Erasmus

"You can find all the new ideas in the old books; only there you will find them balanced, kept in their place, and sometimes contradicted and overcome by other and better ideas. The great writers did not neglect a fad because they had not thought of it, but because they had thought of it and of all the answers to it as well."
-from "On Reading" by G.K. Chesterton

“I must confess that I dedicate no inconsiderable portion of my time to other people's thoughts. I dream away my life in others' speculations. I love to lose myself in other men's minds. When I am not walking, I am reading; I cannot sit and think. Books think for me.”
-from "Detached Thoughts on Books and Reading" by Charles Lamb


buddy2blogger said…
Excellent post, Rick. Nice quotes, all of them. My personal favorite is the first one by Sir Winston Churchill :)
Rose said…
My favorite is the Chesterton one, with the Horace Mann one coming in a close second. I love it when you open one of the books that hasn't quite made it to your shelves simply because there isn't room (and older books of course have seniority) and you find some carefully weighed old idea that encompasses many new ones.
Rick said…
I like the Horace Mann quote a lot. I'll have to post more quotes from that particular essay. He has some great ones.