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How To Get A Library

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Wo bolievo right heartily in books, and quite agree with Mr. Beecher in tho thought that a house without them is worse than a house without windows. We think it tho duty of every man to set up, somowhere in his house, a library, aud to have books even if he bc not ablo to buy proper shelves to put them on. Our associations not only indícate but determine our cliaractors in a very largo measure, and young people ospecialiy are apt to become liko unto the coinpany they keep. Books are companions quite as truly as men and women are, and their iufluenco is far weightierin the formation of charaoter thau that of any man or woman. And so he who neglects to give his family the constant companionship of books, is culpably unmindfulof their welfare, even though he provide unstintingly fot their every other want. The trouble, however, is not commonly want of dispcsition to buy books, but rather a vaguenoss of purpose in the buying. Everybody buys thetn uowadays, but not everybody buys the right ones. If onu bc able to own a largo number of vol unios, a little miscellaneousness of selection ia well enough, but when one'a ability to purchase is limitod, as in most cases it is, it becomus very necessary that the choosing shall bo intelligently done. A mere collection of books, even though it be a largo one, is not a library, while a few woll solected volumes may justly claim that designation. Where the books must bo few in number, they should not only bo tho best, but they should bo so choson as to cover the largest possiblo field and to servo the greatest variety of purposes. Books of reference are espocially necessary in overy home, and should form tho beginning and basis of every library, large or small. A few of these well chosen make a very excellent library of thernsolves indeed, and without them there can be no library at all worthy of tho name. Every house should havo them, whether it has other books or not, and above all, every house should hold, after the Bible, an encyclopeedia and a . dietionary. If other books can be had add thom by all moans, and the more the better, but these every man must have who would grow as he gets older or would seo his children ripen, as thoy should, into intelligent luaimoou. ana womannooa. An encyclopecdia is ia fact a library in itself. It is the knowledge of the centuries boiled down ; the essence of all books crystalized. It stands on the shelves ready to answer briefly every conceivable question in physics, history, politics, art, philosophy, and what not ; to furnish precisoly the information wanted on almost every possible subject ; to turn your children's wide-eyed wondering into the best of schoolinasters ; to make every question sprung in the farnily circle an instructivo lesson ; to convert your guesses into positivo knowledge ; to give you in brief paragraphs the result of other men's years of toilsome investigation. It is every thing in little, and no skill, beyond a knowledge of the commonly received order of the letters in the alphabet, is necessary to the onding of the particular thing its owner may happen to want. And tho habit of Consulting it for the gratification of curiosity or for still better purposes, loads oertainly to the formation of a taste for reading, the valuo of which, ospecially to young people, can hardly be over-estimated. In short, as we think the encyclopeedia the basis of every library, so we think thafc no house can afford to be without one, even though its purchase mako self-denial necessary in matters of physical comfort. In short, a good work of this kind is far more truly one of the "necesasries of life" than are many of the things which we commonly mean bv that


Old News
Michigan Argus