Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select the more enjoyable; and like these are approached with diffidence, nor sought too familiarly nor too often, having the precedence only when friends tire.
The most mannerly of companions, accessible at all times, in all moods, they frankly declare the author’s mind, without giving offense. Like living friends they too have their voice and physiognomies, and their company is prized as old acquaintances.
We seek them in our need of counsel or amusement, without impertinence or apology, sure of having our claims allowed…What were days without such fellowship? We were alone in the world without it…
Next to a friend’s discourse, no morsel is more delecious than a ripe book, a book whose flavour is as refreshing at the thousandth testing as at the first. Books when friends weary, conversation flags, or nature fails to inspire. – Amos B, Alcott