The most real wealth is not what we put into our piggy banks but what we develop in our heads. Books instruct us without anger, threats and harsh discipline. They do not sneer at our ignorance or grumble at our mistakes. They ask only that we spend some time in the company of greatness so that we may absorb some of its attributes. You do not read a book for the book’s sake, but for your own. You may read because in your high-pressure life, studded with problems and emergencies, you need periods of relief and yet recognize that peace of mind does not mean numbness of mind. You may read because you never had an opportunity to go to college, and books give you a chance to get something you missed. You may read because your job is routine, and books give you a feeling of depth in life. You may read because you did go to college. You may read because you see social, economic and philosophical problems which need solution, and you believe that the best thinking of all past ages may be useful in your age, too. You may read because you are tired of the shallowness of contemporary life, bored by the current conversational commonplaces, and wearied of shop talk and gossip about people. Whatever your dominant personal reason, you will find that reading gives knowledge, creative power, satisfaction and relaxation. It cultivates your mind by calling its faculties into exercise. Books are a source of pleasure - the purest and the most lasting. They enhance your sensation of the interestingness of life. Reading them is not a violent pleasure like the gross enjoyment of an uncultivated mind, but a subtle delight. Reading dispels prejudices which hem our minds within narrow spaces. One of the things that will surprise you as you read good books from all over the world and from all times of man is that human nature is much the same today as it has been ever since writing began to tell us about it. Some people act as if it were demeaning to their manhood to wish to be well-read but you can no more be a healthy person mentally without reading substantial books than you can be a vigorous person physically without eating solid food. Books should be chosen, not for their freedom from evil, but for their possession of good. Dr. Johnson said: Whilst you stand deliberating which book your son shall read first, another boy has read both.
Today was a phenomenal day. I submitted my Master’s thesis, and watched #TheDayoftheDoctor in theaters to celebrate. A day filled with perfect timing.♥
Of course, we can’t keep time in a box; time has a box prepared for us. Understanding this is what allows us to value what life we have. My father tells a story about Borges. One day the great man was walking down the streets of Buenos Aires when a man rushed up to him and exclaimed, “Borges, you are immortal!” Borges, with his characteristic dry wit, replied, “Don’t be so pessimistic.”
Tony Barnstone, on translating Borges.
“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend”
The Google Goggles icon reminds me of the Tenth Doctor. I am sure I’m not the only one who thinks this. Personally I love it. =]
Happy birthday, Neil Gaiman - brilliant writer, library supporter, and, in honor of Caturday, cat lover. Gaiman has Tweeted photos and written many blog entries about his cats, including the late, great Zoe, the cute kitty pictured here with Neil. Gaiman is also a major supporter of libraries - when we asked him to give us a quote for library card sign-up month (check out the full campaign, which includes inspirational library quotes from Anne Rice, Bill Cosby, Mario Batali, Woody Allen and more), he shared this gem (a known Gaiman quote): “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.” Rock on, Neil, and happy Caturday to all of you. Looking for something to do today? How about checking out one of Gaiman’s books from NYPL?
How I feel sometimes… =P
Cats are beautiful animals. Reminds me of my sweet Tiger.
I adore this Saturday Evening Post cover. Something about seeing her kicking her shoes off in a museum makes me wish I did things like this more often.