Books are like doors. Books are friends. Books convey great ideas.
Books. One can never have too many good books.The importance of reading the 'right' books...
In my summation, a book must have as a minimum the following qualities to be a 'living book': The child must needs dig for his own information in books, it should not come to him predigested. “What a child digs for is his own possession.” And the sought for information ought to come from an author who cares deeply about his subject and can convey his ideas with apt skill. Then the book must be one that rouses the child's natural interest or grows his sense of the world and his own place in it, or in some way inspires a reverence for all things good.
Books convey ideas. Reading a book is having a conversation, one great mind to another.
“...the choice of books, which implies the play of various able minds directly on the mind of the child, is a great part of that education which consists in the establishment of relations."
CM Series, vol 3 p66
Books are friends. Not only do books fill time and fill a special place, but they actually introduce us to friends from other places, epochs, languages that we would never otherwise have had opportunity to meet.
"Perhaps the main part of a child's education should be concerned with the great human relationships, relationships of love and service, of authority and obedience, of reverence and pity and neighbourly kindness; relationships to kin and friend and neighbour, to 'cause' and country and kind, to the past and the present. History, literature, archeology, art, languages, whether ancient or modern, travel and tales of travel; all of these are in one way or other the record or the expression of persons; and we who are persons are interested in all persons, for we are all one flesh, we are all of one spirit, and whatever any of us does or suffers is interesting to the rest. If we will approach them with living thought, living books, if we will only awaken in them the sense of personal relation, there are thousands of boys and girls today capable of becoming apostles, saviours, great orientalists who will draw the East and the West together, great archeologists who will make the past alive for us and make us aware in our souls of men who lived thousands of years ago."
CM Series, Vol.p81 (read pgs81-83)
Written in response to suggested reading for the CM blog carnival, Living Books vol.1: P.N.E.U. article, Schoolbooks and How They Make for Education
*photo credit: groble