I took it in my hand as something totally unfamiliar and turned the pages. I do not know which demon was whispering to me: ‘Take this book home.’ In any case, it happened, which was contrary to my custom of otherwise never rushing into buying a book. Back at the house I threw myself into the corner of a sofa with my new treasure, and began to let that dynamic, dismal genius work on me. Each line cried out with renunciation, negation, resignation. I was looking into a mirror that reflected the world, life and my own mind with hideous magnificence.
| Friedrich Nietzsche
Charles Lamb: “How beautiful to a genuine lover of reading are the sullied leaves, and worn-out appearance... of an old 'Circulating Library' Tom Jones, or Vicar of Wakefield! How they speak of the thousand thumbs that have turned over their pages with delight! Who would have them a whit less soiled? What better condition could we desire to see them in?"