“When I go to the libraries and ask what are the books that are most drawn out, the information which I receive is not, I am sorry to say, creditable to the character of the young. They do not read histories. They do not read biographies. They do not read travels. They do not read scientific works. There are fifty novels taken out, where there is one solid and substantial work drawn. I have not a word to say against novels. I believe in them. I think that if they are good they are useful. I believe that they are no more to be disallowed than any other part of literature. They can be made to serve the very best kinds of economy, of virtue and morality, to say nothing of religion; but a man who feeds on nothing but these – how miserable and wretched he is! These are the whips and syllabubs of life (cream and froth). They are not the bread nor the meat. They are the confections of life. But ought a man to sit down and eat sugar-plums for his dinner, and nothing but sugar-plums?”
This is such a relevant issue in our home where the stream of Sci-fi books that have been popular lately, can become the total intake, excluding everything else. Eragon and Twilight come to mind.
H.W.Beecher - photo from Internet