Monday, December 12, 2005

The Windows of the Soul

Books are the windows through which the soul looks out.

A home without books is like a room without windows. No man has the right to bring up his children without surrounding them with books, if he has the means to buy them. It is a wrong to his family. He cheats them! Children learn to read by being in the presence of books.

The love of knowledge comes with reading and grows upon it. And the love of knowledge, in a young mind, is almost a warrant against the inferior excitement of passions and vices. Let us pity these poor rich men who live barrenly in great bookless houses! Let us congratulate the poor that, in our day, books are so cheap that a man may every year add a hundred volumes to his library for the price which his tobacco and his beer would cost him.

Among the earliest ambitions to be excited in clerks, workmen, journeymen, and, indeed, among all that are struggling up in life fron nothing to something, is that of forming and continually adding to a library of good books. A little library, growing larger every year, is an honourable part of a man's history. It is a man's duty to have books. A library is not a lurury, but one of the necessities of life.

From one of the published sermons of the 19th Century American preacher, Henry Ward Beecher.