Why do we read books is one of those vast questions that need no answer? As well ask,
why ought we to be good? Or, why do we believe in God? The whole universe of
wisdom answers. To attempt an answer in a single article would be like turning a
spyglass for a moment toward the stars.
We take the great simple things for granted, like the air we breathe. In a country that
holds popular education to be the foundation of all its liberties and fortunes, we do not
find many people who need to be argued into the belief that the reading of books is
good for us; even people who do not read much acknowledge vaguely that they ought
to read more.