All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.
Learning to read has been reduced to a process of mastering a series of narrow, specific, hierarchical skills. Where armed-forces recruits learn the components of a rifle or the intricacies of close order drill by the numbers, recruits to reading learn its mechanics sound by sound and word by word.
It does not follow because many books are written by persons born in America that there exists an American literature. Books which imitate or represent the thoughts and life of Europe do not constitute an American literature. Before such can exist, an original idea must animate this nation and fresh currents of life must call into life fresh thoughts along the shore.
There is a set of religious, or rather moral, writings which teach that virtue is the certain road to happiness, and vice to misery in this world. A very wholesome and comfortable doctrine, and to which we have but one objection, namely, that it is not true.
Books are the best of things if well used; if abused, among the worst. They are good for nothing but to inspire. I had better never see a book than be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system.
Readers are less and less seen as mere non-writers, the subhuman other or flawed derivative of the author; the lack of a pen is no longer a shameful mark of secondary status but a positively enabling space, just as within every writer can be seen to lurk, as a repressed but contaminating antithesis, a reader.
The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man nothing else that he builds ever lasts monuments fall; nations perish; civilization grow old and die out; new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again and yet live on. Still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men's hearts, of the hearts of men centuries dead.
A good book is the very essence of a good man. His virtues survive in it, while the foibles and faults of his actual life are forgotten. All the goodly company of the excellent and great sit around my table, or look down on me from yonder shelves, waiting patiently to answer my questions and enrich me with their wisdom. A precious book is a foretaste of immortality.
The successful Accelerated Reader is able to read larger than normal blocks or bites of the printed page with each eye stop. He has accepted, without reservation, the philosophy that the most important benefit of reading is the gaining of information, ideas, mental picture and entertainment-not the fretting over words. He has come to the realization that words in and of themselves are for the most part insignificant.