OUR HOME LIBRARY 275
they are. If the book is not your own, do this on a little slip of paper, which you may keep separately. These memoranda will be, of course, of all sorts of things. Thus they will be facts which you want to know, or funny stories which you think will amuse some one, or opinions which you may have a doubt about. Suppose you had got hold of that very rare book, Veragas's "History of the Pacific Ocean and Its Shores" ; here might be your private index at the end of the first volume:
Percentage of salt in water, 11; Gov. Revillagigedo, 19; Caciques and potatoes, 23; Lime-water for scurvy, 29; Enata, Kanaka, 42; Magelhaens vs. Wilkes, 57; Coral insects, 72; Gigantic ferns, 84, etc., etc., etc.
Very likely you may never need one of these references; but if you do, it is certain that you will have no time to waste in hunting for them. Make your memorandum, and you are sure.
Bear in mind all along that each book will suggest other books which you are to read sooner or later. In your memoranda note with care the authors who are referred to of whom you know little or nothing, if you think you should like to know more, or ought to know more. Do not neglect this last condition, however. You do not make the memorandum to show it at the Philogabblian; you make it for yourself ; and it means that you yourself need this additional information.
Whether to copy much from books or not? That is a question; and the answer is: "That depends." If you have but few books, and much time and paper and ink; and if you are likely to have fewer books, why, nothing is nicer and better than to make for use in later life good extract-books to your own taste, and for your own purposes. But if you own your books, or are likely to have them at command, time is short, and the time spent in copying would probably be better spent in reading. There are some very diffusive books, difficult because diffusive, of which it is well