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A Book for All Readers An Aid to the Collection, Use, and Preservation of Books and the Formation of Public and Private Libraries   By: (1825-1908)

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First Page:

A BOOK FOR ALL READERS

DESIGNED AS AN AID TO THE

COLLECTION, USE, AND PRESERVATION

OF BOOKS

AND THE

FORMATION OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIBRARIES

BY

AINSWORTH RAND SPOFFORD

G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS NEW YORK & LONDON 1900

COPYRIGHT 1900

BY

A R SPOFFORD

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Chapter Page 1. THE CHOICE OF BOOKS, 3 2. BOOK BUYING, 33 3. THE ART OF BOOK BINDING, 50 4. PREPARATION FOR THE SHELVES: BOOK PLATES, &C., 88 5. THE ENEMIES OF BOOKS, 101 6. RESTORATION AND RECLAMATION OF BOOKS, 119 7. PAMPHLET LITERATURE, 145 8. PERIODICAL LITERATURE, 157 9. THE ART OF READING, 171 10. AIDS TO READERS, 190 11. ACCESS TO LIBRARY SHELVES, 215 12. THE FACULTY OF MEMORY, 226 13. QUALIFICATIONS OF LIBRARIANS, 242 14. SOME OF THE USES OF LIBRARIES, 275 15. THE HISTORY OF LIBRARIES, 287 16. LIBRARY BUILDINGS AND FURNISHINGS, 321 17. LIBRARY MANAGERS OR TRUSTEES, 333 18. LIBRARY REGULATIONS, 341 19. LIBRARY REPORTS AND ADVERTISING, 349 20. THE FORMATION OF LIBRARIES, 357 21. CLASSIFICATION, 362 22. CATALOGUES, 373 23. COPYRIGHT AND LIBRARIES, 400 24. POETRY OF THE LIBRARY, 417 25. HUMORS OF THE LIBRARY, 430 26. RARE BOOKS, 444 27. BIBLIOGRAPHY, 459 INDEX, 501

A BOOK FOR ALL READERS

CHAPTER 1.

THE CHOICE OF BOOKS.

When we survey the really illimitable field of human knowledge, the vast accumulation of works already printed, and the ever increasing flood of new books poured out by the modern press, the first feeling which is apt to arise in the mind is one of dismay, if not of despair. We ask who is sufficient for these things? What life is long enough what intellect strong enough, to master even a tithe of the learning which all these books contain? But the reflection comes to our aid that, after all, the really important books bear but a small proportion to the mass. Most books are but repetitions, in a different form, of what has already been many times written and printed. The rarest of literary qualities is originality. Most writers are mere echoes, and the greater part of literature is the pouring out of one bottle into another. If you can get hold of the few really best books, you can well afford to be ignorant of all the rest. The reader who has mastered Kames's "Elements of Criticism," need not spend his time over the multitudinous treatises upon rhetoric. He who has read Plutarch's Lives thoroughly has before him a gallery of heroes which will go farther to instruct him in the elements of character than a whole library of modern biographies. The student of the best plays of Shakespeare may save his time by letting other and inferior dramatists alone. He whose imagination has been fed upon Homer, Dante, Milton, Burns, and Tennyson, with a few of the world's master pieces in single poems like Gray's Elegy, may dispense with the whole race of poetasters. Until you have read the best fictions of Scott, Thackeray, Dickens, Hawthorne, George Eliot, and Victor Hugo, you should not be hungry after the last new novel, sure to be forgotten in a year, while the former are perennial. The taste which is once formed upon models such as have been named, will not be satisfied with the trashy book, or the spasmodic school of writing... Continue reading book >>




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