Poetry – TO A.V.S. WITH A BOOK

Books are the quiet monitors of mind,
They prompt its motions, shape its ways, they find
A road through mazes to the higher ground,
Whence to explore the sky-bound marches. Round
About us lie the open downs. Our days
Still ask a guide and goad. Wherefore always
We meditate wise thoughts and passionate lays;
Wherefore I send a book.

Books are the mind’s last symbol. They express
Its visions and its subtleties—a dress
Material for the immaterial things
That soar to immortality on wings
Of words, and live, by magic of the pen,
Where dead minds live, upon the lips of men
And deep in hearts that stir. Wherefore do I,
Drawing a little near, prophetically,
Send you a book.

Books are the heart’s memorial. They shall measure,
In after days, our undiscovered treasure,—
Thrilling self-knowledge, half-divined untold
Yearnings, and tongueless agonies, shall unfold
Or half unfold to half-illumined eyes.
The cypress shadows creeping gnomonwise
Still stretch their purple fingers down the hill
That hangs above Fiesole; and still
Your English fireside glows. Do you most dear—
Sometimes just guessed at, sometimes very near—
Yet always dear and fairest friend, do you
Recall the sunlight and the firelight too?
Recall the pregnant hours, the gay delights,
The pain, the tears maybe, the ravished heights,
The golden moments my cold lines commend,
The days, in memory or which I send
A book?

— Clive Bell

Quote – books worth reading once are worth reading twice

You will find that most books worth reading once are worth reading twice.

John Morley

Related Reference

Quote – What is not worth reading more than once

What is not worth reading more than once is not worth reading at all.

C. J. Weber

Quote – Reading furnishes us only with the materials of knowledge

Reading furnishes us only with the materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

— John Locke

Related References

Quote – No entertainment is so cheap as reading

No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. .

— Lady Montagu

Quote – The wisdom of life is the true salt of literature

Maxim or aphorism, let us remember that this wisdom of life is the true salt of literature; that those books are most nourishing which are most richly stored with it, and that it is one of the main objects … which men ought to seek in the reading of books.

— John Morley

Quote – Learn to be good readers

Learn to be good readers, which is perhaps a more difficult thing than you imagine. Learn to be discriminative in your reading; to read faithfully, and with your best attention, all kinds of things which you have a real interest in—a real, not an imaginary—and which you find to be really fit for what you are engaged in.

— Thomas Carlyle