Saturday, June 7, 2008

Everlasting salvation

"Lord!" he said, "when you sell a man a book you don't sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue--you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night--there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book I mean. Jiminy! If I were the baker or the butcher or the broom huckster, people would run to the gate when I came by--just waiting for my stuff. And here I go loaded with everlasting salvation--yes, ma'am, salvation for their little, stunted minds--and it's hard to make 'em see it. That's what makes it worth while--I'm doing something that nobody else from Nazareth, Maine, to Walla Walla, Washington, has ever thought of. It's a new field, but by the bones of Whitman it's worth while. That's what this country needs--more books!"

Christopher Morley: Parnassus on Wheels

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