The Perfect Gift: Books
(Quote from “The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines & L.W. Yaggy.)
“No man has a right to bring up his children without surrounding them with books. 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.
A little library, growing larger every year, is an honourable part of a young man’s history. It is a man’s duty to have books. A library is not a luxury, but one of the necessaries of life. It is not like a dead city of stones, yearly crumbling, and needing repair; but like a spiritual tree. There it stands and yields its precious fruit.
The influence of books upon man is remarkable; they make the man. You may judge a man more truly by the books and papers which he reads than by the company which he keeps, for his associates are often, in a manner, imposed upon him; but his reading is the result of choice, and the man who chooses a certain class of books and papers unconsciously becomes more coloured in their views, more rooted in their opinions, and the mind becomes fettered to their views.
A good book is the most appropriate gift that friend-ship can make. It never changes, it never grows un-fashionable or old. It is soured by no neglect, is jealous of no rival; but always its clean, clear pages are ready to amuse, interest and instruct. The voice that speaks the thought may change or grow still forever, the heart that prompted the kindly and cheering word may grow cold and forgetful; but the page that mirrors it is changeless, faithful, immortal. The book that records the incarnation of divine love, is God’s best gift to man, and the books which are filled with kindly thought and generous sympathy, are the best gifts of friend to friend.”