Care should be taken in the Selection of Books
It is one thing to own a library; it is quite another to use it wisely. I have often been astonished at how little care people devote to the selection of what they read.
Books, we know, are almost innumerable: our hours of reading are alas! very few. And yet many people read almost by hazard. They will take any book they chance to find in a room at a friend’s house; they will buy a novel at a railway stall if it has an attractive title, indeed. I believe in some cases even the binding affects that choice.
The selection is, no doubt, far from easy. I have often wished someone would recommend a list of hundred good books. If we had such lists drawn up by a few good guides, they would be most useful. I have indeed sometimes heard it said that in reading everyone must choose for himself, but this reminds me of the recommendation not to go into the water till you can swim.