Monday, November 20, 2006

The Pleasure of Reading

"Now, my young friends, to whom I am addressing myself, with reference to this habit of reading, I make bold to tell you that it is your pass to the greatest, the purest, and the most perfect pleasures that God has prepared for his creatures.

"Other pleasures may be more ecstatic. When a young man looks into a girl's eye for love, and finds it there, nothing may afford him greater joy for the moment; when a father sees a son return after a long absence, it may be a great pleasure for the moment; but the habit of reading is the only enjoyment I know, in which there is no alloy. It lasts when all other pleasures fade. It will be there to support you when all other recreations are gone. It will be present to you when the energies of your body have fallen away from you. It will last you until your death. It will make your hours pleasant to you as long as you live.

"But, my friends, you cannot acquire that habit in your age. You cannot acquire it in middle age; you must do it now, when you are young. You must learn to read and to like reading now, or you cannot do so when you are old." (Anthony Trollope --1815-1882)