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ONE’S reading is usually a fair index of one’s character. Abstain from those books which, while they have some good things about them, have also an admixture of evil. You can not afford to read a bad book however good you are. “The influence is insignificant,” do you say? I reply that the scratch of a pin has sometimes produced lockjaw.

Inferior books are to be rejected in an age when we are courted by whole libraries and when no man’s life is long enough to compass even those which are good and great and famous. Why should we bow down at puddles, when we can approach freely to the crystal spring-head? To read with profit, the book must be of a kind calculated to inform the mind, correct the head, and better the heart. These books should be read with attention, understood, remembered, and their precepts put in practise.

To those who plead the want of time to read, we would say, Be as frugal of your hours as you are of your dollars, and you can create time in the busiest day. The time you devote to reading good books is time well spent. We can not afford to neglect reading good books.

Beware of novels that are of a cheap and trashy quality. Many a noble tree has been eaten through by minute insects, and many a promising character has been injured by the excessive reading of even the higher class of novels and novelettes.

Of all the books ever written, not one contains such instructive and such sublime reading and so meat a variety of it as the Bible. Resolve to read it. You will find realities there more wonderful than any picture of fiction drawn by the finest penciling of the master-hand of the most practised novelist that has shone in the dazzling galaxy of ancient or modern writers.

We should read slowly and try to remember what we read. Reading is good pastime for young and old. We should not neglect so important a duty as reading. It is a duty we owe to ourselves and our families.