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Letters to the Editor – The New York Times

Letters to the Editor – The New York Times


Fortunately for publishers and my library, unread books remind me of the many pleasures to come. Books have been the center of my intellectual life, but, read or unread, they interrupt the drift of ordinary life with the thrill of expectancy and unlearned pleasures. And yes, sometimes that leads to “intellectual growth.” Sometimes not.

ARDIS CAMERON
STONINGTON, ME.

To the Editor:

“In Praise of Libraries” (Reading Room, Oct. 21) prompts me to share a favorite quote from John Updike. “When I write,” he said, “I aim in my mind not toward New York but toward a vague spot a little to the east of Kansas. I think of the books on library shelves, without their jackets, years old, and a countryish teenage boy finding them, and having them speak to him. The reviews, the stacks at Brentano’s, are just hurdles to get over, to place books on that shelf.”

SUSAN SCHUUR
NEW YORK

To the Editor:

While Edith Wharton may not be living, she is a constant presence. In her autobiography, she described Bernard Berenson’s library in his home, I Tatti, as “the bookworm’s heaven: the fulfillment of all he has dreamed that a great working library ought to be, continually weeded out and renewed, ‘not made of spent deeds but of doing,’ not a dusty mausoleum of dead authors but a glorious assemblage of eternally living ones.”

SUSAN BARILE
NEW YORK

The author is co-editor of the forthcoming volume “The Letters of Edith Wharton to Bernard and Mary Berenson.”

To the Editor:

Upon reading “In Praise of Libraries,” I concluded that my life could be described by the libraries I have visited. As a young child there was a weekly trip to the Brooklyn Public Library. When I became a “preteen,” there were visits to the children’s room of the main branch and in junior high its adult room. Then, at Brooklyn College, the student library. In graduate school, the iconic reading room of the New York Public Library’s main branch became a frequent destination.



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