1) ….to read a great book for the first time in one’s maturity is an extraordinary pleasure, different from (though one cannot say greater or lesser than) the pleasure of having read it in one’s youth.
2) We use the word “classics” for those books that are treasured by those who have read and loved them; but they are treasured no less by those who have the luck to read them for the first time in the best conditions to enjoy them.
3) There should therefore be a time in adult life devoted to revisiting the most important books of our youth.
4) Every rereading of a classic is as much a voyage of discovery as the first reading.
5) Every reading of a classic is in fact a rereading.
6) A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.
7) The classics are the books that come down to us bearing upon them the traces of readings previous to ours, and bringing in their wake the traces they themselves have left on the culture or cultures they have passed through.