"The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man nothing else that he builds ever lasts monuments fall; nations perish; civilization grow old and die out; new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again and yet live on. Still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men's hearts, of the hearts of men centuries dead."
Are we learning from the wisdom of the past? Books can give us so much information that will help us in the here and now, because they impart the lessons of history. But we must access that information by reading, by digging deep for what lies beneath the surface.
In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo has this section on how architecture is the library of past civilizations. Before books were common, man left his mark on the world and told his story through massive buildings. Architecture can reveal a lot about history, but books get to the point much more quickly. They reveal the inner workings as well as the outer actions of mankind. We should learn from the stories that our ancestors have left behind, in hopes that it will prepare us for the future.