To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.
W. Somerset Maugham
For books are not absolutely dead things, but … do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous Dragon’s teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men….Yet on the other hand unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a Man as kill a good Book; who kills a Man kills a reasonable creature, God’s Image; but he who destroys a good Book, kills reason itself, kills the Image of God, as it were in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the Earth; but a good Book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.
Increased literacy means that more people is reading than ever before, but the majority read dull newspapers, trivial magazines, gossip news, popular fiction or facebook and twitter posts, not the work of committed and obscure authors. I always viewed the public and its tastes with the greatest suspicion and I have never sought a vast success. As a result I will finish into that great majority of minority writers, or the great unread, just as my modernist predecessors. I am not a spokesman of my age, but I consider myself a traditional revolutionary and anarchist writer, I believe in old and new values and I struggle against stupidity in all its forms, but as a member of the most secret avant-garde I can’t be read by a wide public and personally I am almost proud and glad of it.
Carl William Brown