are to be avoided. The first, and greatest, is the selection of books calculated to degrade the morals or intellect of the reader. This danger is apparent, and to be shunned needs but to be seen. Books, of more or less intrinsic value, are so abundant and cheap, that common men must go out of their way to gather a large collection that shall not contain works of real merit. But the object should be to exclude all worthless and pernicious works, and meet and improve the public taste, by offering it mental food better than that to which it has been accustomed. The other danger is negative, rather than positive; but, as books are comparatively worthless when they are not read, it becomes a matter of great moment to select such as will touch the public mind at a few points, at least. It is indeed possible, and, under the guidance of some persons, it would be natural, to encumber the shelves of a library with good books that might ever remain so, saving only the contributions made to mould and mice.
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