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Thomas Forgnall Dibdin
The Library Companion;
or, The Young Man's Guide, and the Old Man's Comfort, in the Choice of a Library
London, 1824
It will be obvious, from the slightest glance at the ensuing pages, that it has been the object of their author to present a great quantity of useful information within a reasonable compass. . . .
From the beginning to the end, I have never lost sight of what I considered to be the MOST MATERIAL OBJECT to be gained from a publication of this nature; namely, the imparting of a moral feeling to the gratification of a literary taste.
—From the Preface
In addition to a pervasive concern for reading as an aid to character development, historical materials in the Reading collection may also illustrate gender biases that were common well into the 20th century.