A good book may be among the best of friends. It is the same today that it always was, and it will never change. It is the most patient and cheerful of companions. It does not turn its back upon us in times of adversity or distress. It always receives us with the same kindness; amusing and instructing us in youth, and comforting and consoling us in age.
Men often discover their affinity to each other by the love they have each for a book—just as two persons sometimes discover a friend by the admiration which both have for a third. There is an old proverb, “Love me, love my dog.” But there is more wisdom in this: “Love me, love my book.” The book is a truer and higher bond of union. Men can think, feel, and sympathize with each other through their favorite author. They live in him together, and he in them.
“Books,” said Hazlitt, “wind in the heart: the poet’s verse slides in the current of our blood. We read them when young, we remember them when old. We feel that it has happened to ourselves. They are to be had very cheap and good. We breath but the air of books.”