Man cannot live alone. He needs friends. Something he loves must. Therefore, he likes to live in the company of men or in the company of animals. There are some who love the company of Nature. There are also those who loved the company of books.
The company of books gives the pleasure of company of man and Nature too. What is a book? A book is the map of man’s life and the life in nature. Every page of a great book is a store-house of man’s best and noblest thoughts. In a library you meet all these mighty minds of the whole world.
But all books are not innocent. There is a flood of books today. A flood is always a bad thing. Even a flood of tears is bad. How can a flood of books be good, then? You must be careful of this. Don’t be carried away by this flood. It is good to live in the company of bad books. But it is bad to fall in the company of bad books. Through the influence of bad books you can pick up bad habits without your knowing it. Therefore, you must select your companions with great care. You must make a choice wisely.
But even the very best of books cannot give you everything. The company of books can give you knowledge but it cannot give you wisdom. No book can make you a great scientist. Newton was not born in a library. He did not read much. He lives in the company of plants and flowers. So, a library cannot make you a great poet or thinker. Even the books of your choice may make you only a bookworm. You get only second-hand information. You cannot be truly great unless you see with your own eyes and hear with your own ears. Therefore, you must come out of the world of books from time to time and live in the company of man and nature. The life of man and the life of Nature must be mixed up with the company of books. A divorce between book and life is full of dangers. So, read not only books but also the great Book of Life and Nature.