The best books are those that every man or woman thought that he or she could have written better.To be an ” original” thinker, one must know the best that has been thought. One maybe compelled into their service, of all that is known, whatever suits their purpose. There is, in living minds, a circulation of ideas. It’s impossible that one writer can follow, in time, another in a study of the same subject without approximations and resemblances. What has never been said before may have been thought not worth saying.
The greatest artists were compelled to paint their masterpiece with only seven basic colors. Their genius enabled them to create innumerable combinations and shades,but never find any new colors .The mighty musical works of Mozart are but a handful of musical notes combined by skill.
No writer can altogether conceal their preferences, for no person thinks in a vacuum, and their phrases have a history behind them,and something of autobiography is in them. A great deal of living must go into a very little writing. The best of writings are channels worn by the urgent streams of life .They are not mere literary recreations. They will bear to be kept, and looked at in after days; for the person is not saying these things for a livelihood,but ony because they were pressed out of them.
Sometimes the hidden value of a book lies in it’s immense incidental suggestiveness. When the moment of shining brightly has come, a fugitive word could kindle a fire, and set up a life of it‘s own within another. Again, only that which has cost thought is likely to excite thought.
One has to keep in touch with the living of life, even in the writing of a book. Life is short,and books should not be long. Economy is easy to assume, but hard to attain. A hundred thoughts are crowding the mind, each crying, ” Let me out “; but you can only let out one at a time.
We have a tendency to read only the books that confirm our prejudices, or that moves us only to rearrange them.Some books have been published to great damaged, not only of the paper, time, and labor but also of truth. Someone asked me once if I read a certain ‘devotional ‘ book that has been erroneously called a ‘best-selling.’ I said “I read in it.”
She asked ” .But didn’t you read it all the way through as you normally do.“? ” No, I don’t need to eat the whole egg to find out if it’s bad.“
BOOKS ARE THE MIRRORS OF THE SOUL.