The Importance of Books

atkins-bookshelf-quotationsOf all the inanimate objects, of all men’s creations, books are the nearest to us for they contain our very thoughts, our ambitions, our indignations, our illusions, our fidelity to the truth, and our persistent leanings to error. But most of all they resemble us in their precious hold on life.

Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski; 1857-1924), Polish-born British author from the essay Books (1905), included in The Works of Joseph Conrad.

A Bibliophile’s Priorities

I have turned my entire attention to Greek. The first thing I shall do, as soon as the money arrives, is to buy some Greek authors; after that, I shall buy clothes.

Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, dutch philosopher and theologian (1466-1536) in a letter to Jacob Batt written on April 12, 1500. This quotation is often paraphrased: “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”