Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Companionable books

“Many books are dry and dusty, there is no juice in them; and many are soon exhausted, you would no more go back to them than to a squeezed orange; but some have in them an unfailing sap, both from the tree of knowledge and from the tree of life.

“By companionable books I mean those that are worth taking with you on a journey where the weight of luggage counts, or keeping beside your bed near the night-lamp; books that will bear reading often, and the more slowly you read them the better you enjoy them; books that not only tell your how things look and how people behave, but also interpret nature and life to you in language of beauty and power attached with the personality of the author, so that they have a real voice audible to your spirit in the silence.”

— Henry Van Dyke, New York, 1924.

Old books. Photo by David Flores. CC BY 2.0.

Winter 2021



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