C.S. Lewis on *Books*

During my freshman year in college I bought a book called The Quotable Lewis, indexing his writings (both published and personal) on the catalogue of topics he addressed.

I liked so much the way he thought, that I would sit down and read Lewis by topic, circling or underlining the bits I liked, agreed with, and/or made me think. I wanted to be able to return to them.

Thinking about books (one of the forefront topics of this blog), it reminded me of a collection of his excerpts that resonated strongly with me. Reading them I felt that I’d found a “kindred spirit” (to borrow from another well-known book). The comments almost made me homesick for someone equally like-minded.

My Favorites:

  • When one has read a book, I think there is nothing so nice as discussing it with some one else– even though it sometimes produces rather fierce arguments.
  • I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a good book and reading it only once.
  • There is something awfully nice about reading a book again, with all the half-unconscious memories it brings back.
  • An unliterary man may be defined as one who had read books once only. There is hope for a man who has never read Malory or Boswell or Tristram Shandy or Shakespeare’s Sonnets: but what can you do with a man who says he “has read” them, meaning he has read them once, and thinks that this settles the matter?

That there is still “hope” for one who has not read these works is a nice relief. I’ve hardly heard of the works listed, much less digested them. I like to salve my literary ego by reminding myself that there are also good books written today, and that age isn’t everything… But mostly I like just to be left alone to enjoy a good story wherever I find it.

Even on Television. (If you came from my original blog you already know I like House M.D.)

To finish, one that makes me laugh:

  • The more “up to date” a book is, the sooner it will be dated.

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