Monday, 4 November 2013

Kipling on the Uses of Reading

Saw this on Andrew Sullivan's blog. Dated, but still interesting - if you can get past the colonial attitude.
We have times and moods and tenses of black depression and despair and general mental discomfort which, for convenience sake, we call liver or sulks. But so far as my experience goes, that is just the time when a man is peculiarly accessible to the influence of a book, as he is to any other outside influence; and, moreover, that is just the time when he naturally and instinctively does not want anything of a mind-taxing soul-stirring nature. Then is the time to fall back on the books that, neither pretend to be nor are accepted as masterpieces, but books whose tone and temper soothe your trouble for the time being.