This week’s quotes are from a book I didn’t read in its entirety, but still enjoyed the bits I did read, Through the Magic Door by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. There I was, minding my own business, wandering through the library when I came across the section of books about books and/or reading. Most of them were really old, and since I love books about books and reading, and really old books (mostly because of the smell and feel of them), I began perusing the shelf. I ended up taking 3 of them home with me, and if anyone reading this were to see how much weight I was already schlepping around on my back as well as how far I had to walk to get back to my car, you would understand why I only picked 3 instead of the whole row of books. Through the Magic Door was one of the 3, and all because of the very first lines:
“I care not how humble your bookshelf may be, nor how lowly the room which it adorns. Close the door of that room behind you, shut off with it all the cares of the outer world, plunge back into the soothing company of the great dead, and then you are through the magic portal into that fair land whither worry and vexation can follow you no more. You have left all that is vulgar and all that is sordid behind you. There stand your noble, silent comrades, waiting in their ranks.”
I heard Benedict Cumberbatch reading those words in my head, and didn’t even look through the rest of the book before tucking it under my arm. When I got home and began reading, I realized the book is a detailed description, with many tangents, of his favorite books and why they are his favorites, and most of the references are so specific to the time he wrote the book that you would have to know a lot about England during his life. It’s a very interesting read, if you’re into that sort of thing. I mostly skimmed, hoping to come across more great lines like the one above, but only found this one:
“The dead are such good company that one may come to think too little of the living.”
Oh how true, sir, oh how true; in more ways than one! I remember my love of cemeteries when I was growing up, not just because of all that history, and wondering what the stories were behind the names on the markers, but because it was silent and no one bothered me. These are the same reasons I love libraries. Also, that line, taken out of context, is all the more wonderful. I could see it being a line in a story about ghosts or maybe vampires, or anything that would pay homage to Poe.
I love these 2 quotes so much, and the title of the book, that I’m going to borrow the title for another page on this blog, where I will list my own favorite books. I haven’t decided if I’m going to discuss why I love each book on the list, but I will link them to Goodreads.