It was born then, this idea that I must have books, not only for our children but for Abigail and myself. We must not lose touch with that we were, with what we had been, nor must we allow the well of our history to dry up, for a child without tradition is a child crippled before the world. Tradition can also be an anchor of stability and a shield to guard one from irresponsibility and hasty decisions.
(All quotes from the character Barnabas Sackett in To The Far Blue Mountains by Louis L'Amour)
What books then? They must be few, for the luggage of books is no easy thing when they must be carried in canoes, packs, and upon one's back.
Each book must be one worth rereading many times, each a book that has much to say, that can lend meaning to a life, help in decisions, comfort one during moments of loneliness. One needed a chance to listen to the words of other men who had lived their lives, to share with them trials an troubles by day and by night in home or in the markets of cities.
The Bible of course, for aside from religion there is much to be learned of men and their ways in the Bible. It is also a source of comments made of references and figures of speech. No man could consider himself education without some knowledge of it.
Plutarch aslo. My father, a self-educated man, placed much weight upon him. He was, I quote my father, urbane, sophisticated, and intelligent, giving a sense of calmness and consideration to all he wrote. "I think," my father said, "that more great men have read him that perhaps any other book."