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HENRY VAN DYKE
“What is this reading, which I must
* It is something beyond gardening,”
" and at times you
Many books are dry and dusty, there is no juice in them; and many are soon exhausted, you would no more go back to them than to a squeezed orange; but some have in them an unfailing sap, both from the tree of knowledge and from the tree of life.
By companionable books I mean those that are worth taking with you on a journey, where the weight of luggage counts, or keeping beside your bed, near the night-lamp; books that will bear reading often, and the more slowly you read them the better you enjoy them; books that not only tell you how things look and how people behave, but also interpret nature and life to you, in language of beauty and power touched with the personality of the author, so that they have a real voice audible to your spirit in the silence.
Here I have written about a few of these books which have borne me good company, in one way or another,--and about their authors, who have