Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Why You Should Read the Best Books

It is not the reading of many books which is necessary to make one wise, but the well-reading of a few, could they be sure to be the best.

—Richard Baxter

Few are sufficiently sensible of the importance of that economy in reading which selects, almost exclusively, the very first order of books. Why should a man, except for some special reason, read an inferior book at the very time he might be reading one of the highest order?

—John Foster

We should accustom the mind to keep the best company by introducing it only to the best books.

—Sydney Smith

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.[1]

—Mark Twain

Read the great books! That is worth repeating: Read the great books! . . . You should bear in mind why they were written: great books were written to show a great God and a great Christ to the people of God. You must never be tricked into reading lesser books about great subjects when you are perfectly capable of reading great books about great subjects![2]

—Sinclair Ferguson

[1] Quoted in Terry W. Glaspey, A Passion for Books (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1998), p. 73.

[2] Sinclair Ferguson, Read Any Good Books? (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1992), p. 5.