Books are of different types. Some of them are useful and delightful while others are not. The exact value of books is greatly related to their content and purpose.
Francis Bacon, a famous English essayist, classifies books into three categories in his formal essay ” Of studies”: ” Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested.” In other words, some books should be read in parts; others hastily, without much concentration and attention; and some few thoroughly and steadily.
In essence, books are used as a source of knowledge and information; they are also used as a source of pleasure and amusement. As a source of knowledge, books are considered valuable stores and treasures of information, wisdom and moral advice, for they widen the horizon of the reader’s thoughts, deepen the meaning of his life and enrich his experience. By reading a useful book in the field of history or science, for instance, one can learn a lot about past generations and live with the most honest people of past centuries. In fact, a valuable book is to the mind as nourishing food is to the body. As a source of delight, there is no companion like a good book, specially when one feels lonely and sad. One can drive evil thoughts, anxiety and boredom out of one’s mind by reading an entertaining book. This certainly relates to the positive side of books.
As regards the negative side, there are books that are very dangerous to read, for they poison the reader’s thoughts and spoil his character. Examples of such books are those on crimes, violence and immoral or indecent behavior. Books of this category are a waste of time, specially to our children; they may instill evil thoughts in their minds and, subsequently, affect their behavior adversely. Consequently, parents should be very careful and cautious when selecting books for their children.
In conclusion, books, if well selected, can be regarded not only as faithful friends but also as unfathomable wells of knowledge. Although they can not control the length of our lives, they, undoubtedly, can control their width and depth, thus rendering them more meaningful and enjoyable.