Books have their idiosyncrasies…

February 27, 2015

oldbooks1

Books have their idiosyncrasies as well as people, and will not show me their full beauties unless the place and time in which they are read suits them. If, for instance, I cannot read Thoreau in a drawing-room, how much less would I ever dream of reading Boswell in the grass by a pond! Imagine carrying him off in company with his great friend to a lonely dell in a rye-field, and expecting them to be entertaining. ‘Nay, my dear lady,’ the great man would say in mighty tones of rebuke, ‘this will never do. Lie in a rye-field? What folly is that? And who would converse in a damp hollow that can help it?’ So I read and laugh over Boswell in the library when the lamps are lit, buried in cushions and surrounded by every sign of civilisation, with the drawn curtains shutting out the garden and the country solitude so much disliked by both sage and disciple.

Elizabeth von Arnim
The Solitary Summer

One Response to “Books have their idiosyncrasies…”

  1. revkmorey said

    I happen to agree with this. (Experience)

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