Caring for books

Caring for books

Never lend a book without an acknowledgement. . . Do not allow your books to get damp, as they soon mildew. . . Do not allow books to be very long in a too warm place. . . Do not, in reading, turn down the corners of the leaves; do not wet your finger to turn a leaf. . . Never pull a book from the shelf by the head-band; do not toast them over the fire, or sit on them. . .

Luke Limner
On self-deception

On self-deception

This self-deceit, this fatal weakness of mankind, is the source of half the disorders of human life. If we saw ourselves in the light in which others see us, or in which they would see us if they knew all, a reformation would generally be unavoidable. We could not otherwise endure the sight.

Adam Smith
Taking the long view

Taking the long view

No great cause is ever lost or ever won. The battle must always be renewed and the creed restated and the old formulas, once so potent a revelation, become only dim antiquarian echoes. But some things are universal, catholic, and undying—the souls of which such formulas are the broken gleams. These do not age or pass out of fashion, for they symbolize eternal things.

John Buchan
Wherever you go, there you are

Wherever you go, there you are

In one way traveling has narrowed my mind. What I have discovered is something very ordinary and unexciting, which is that humans are the same everywhere and that the degree of variation between members of the species is very slight. This is of course an encouraging finding; it helps arm you against news programs back home that show seething or abject masses of either fanatical or torpid people. In another way it is a depressing finding; the sorts of things that make people quarrel and make them stupid are the same everywhere.

Christopher Hitchens
The fear of ridicule

The fear of ridicule

Man is deficient in courage. . . He is not only mortally afraid of all other animals of his own weight or half his weight—save a few that he has debased by artificial inbreeding—; he is even mortally afraid of his own kind—and not only of their fists and hooves, but even of their sniggers.

H.L. Mencken
Faith, harder than it looks on TV

Faith, harder than it looks on TV

I discovered later, and I’m still discovering it right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. . . By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes, and failures, experiences and perplexities. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings but those of God in the world—watching with Christ in Gethsemane. That, I think, is faith. . .

Dietrich Bonhoeffer