The Making of an American's Library

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Little, Brown,, 1915 - Books and reading - 159 pages

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Page 128 - For of those who borrow, some read slow ; some mean to read but don't read ; and some neither read nor mean to read, but borrow to leave you an opinion of their sagacity. I must do my money-borrowing friends the justice to say that there is nothing of this caprice or wantonness of alienation in them. When they borrow my money they never fail to make use of it.
Page 26 - ... decline of private ownership of books, which some critics say is upon us. In particular, we occasionally hear the complaint that the public library, by its free lending of books, is discouraging the book-owning habit. This complaint does not come from the publisher and bookseller so often as it did once; for these, apparently, are gradually accepting the librarian's point of view, which is that the public library, by fostering the reading habit on a large scale...
Page 101 - There has been criticism of this rapid and remarkable development — some of it justified ; but on the whole we may look upon it as not the least of the steps by which, in our reorganisation of the public library, that institution has made good its claim to be an active factor in the scheme of popular education. And especially is it to the credit of the children's librarians that they alone, or almost alone, have taken up seriously the problem of children's reading. They have studied it, and they...
Page 102 - ... tradition of the library's absolute neutrality, in ignoring commercial and personal considerations altogether. They have calmly thrown out whole series of boys' and girls' books advertised as possessing all the virtues and eagerly loved and desired by a generation of children ; simply because these do not come up to the standard. that they have set up for the library to follow. To the protests of indignant authors, the wiles of publishers and the tearful demands of readers they have turned a...
Page 63 - ... there are potentialities in such a large collection, and the larger it is, the greater becomes the chance of making friends in it — of being able to choose from it the few intimates that are to be the joy of the book-owner's lifetime. Such a use of a public collection of books is peculiarly modern, and it embodies the modern idea of a live, as opposed to a dead, literature. The desire of the book-lover in every age has been to care for the...
Page 130 - ... borrowing the public machinery for the protection and insurance of the private lender. History presents numerous instances of attempts to systematise the lending of private books and still more of generous owners who were willing to throw open their collections to the use of friends, or even of the public. Plutarch tells us that the library of Lucullus was "open to all.
Page 26 - ... scale — a vastly larger scale than that on which it can offer the public loan of books — has been also encouraging a commercial demand for literature. And this is doubtless the broader point of view. The existence of cheap restaurants does not lessen the number of housekeepers ; nor does the free school interfere with schools and colleges that give education for a fee. In...
Page 132 - I cannot afford to lose. I never lend a book to a man whom I know to be untidy, or careless, or inconsiderate ; but I give a liberal construction to this regulation. And by means of these rules I am enabled to reconcile my conscience to the individual ownership of books.
Page 122 - ... sudden glimpses right into your depths, there mixes with the swift spasm of love I feel, a dread — lest you should catch me, as it were, spying into you and that one of us, I know not which, should feel ashamed. Every child passes into this secret stage; it closes in from its first frankness; it carries off the growing jewel of its consciousness to hide from all mankind.
Page 11 - The public library may thus perform important functions in the selection of books for private ownership, serving as a great storehouse for reference and for testing one's likes and dislikes.

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