The company of Books
Thanks to the Press and the facilities for publication of books, any number of books for the uplift of thought and character are now easily available. We must purchase books according to the stage of our development, as that would be very useful for spiritual growth. Books must be selected with much care.
The study of books is not yet very popular in our land; consequently, our minds remain cabined, cribbed, and confined. We therefore do not think objectively. Good books have manifold uses. In fact, books are in some ways more useful than the company of great souled people, for only in books can we see the brighter side of the author’s life. In a book we get a glimpse of the author’s inner nature, his wealth of experience, and his personality. We, therefore, profit from his good points.
Censurious, fault-finding people pick holes in all they see about them, and this is a hindrance to spiritual growth, whereas he who sees good in everything becomes virtuous-minded; he sees goodness and beauty pervading the universe. When we study great books, we keep off the dark, imperfect, and thorny side of human nature, and we dwell with the beneficial, beautiful and pure aspects of man.
Another distinguishing feature of books, as compared with good people of flesh and blood, is that they bring us into contact with great and good men of the past. We can also contact living great souls in any part of the world, at any time, through the medium of books. Good books are proving a great source of spiritual progress. Therefore, it is essential for spiritual seekers to utilize good books.
Bhai Raghbir Singh in Bandginama, pg 36-37