This week, I’m bringing together four different quotes, all with a similar perspective — one on the value of books to the pursuit of wisdom.
“Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistake of our own period. And that means the old books.” – C.S. Lewis
“The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, ‘Remember Caesar, thou art mortal’. Most of us can’t rush around, talking to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money, or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book. Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.” – Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
“The process of living seems to consist of coming to realize truths so ancient and simple that, if stated, they sound like barren platitudes. They cannot sound otherwise to those who have not had the relevant experience; that is why there is no teaching of such truths possible and every generation starts from scratch.” – C.S. Lewis
“The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false.” – Paul Johnson