Days later, when I was finished with the job, I realized for the first time how much my relationship to books had altered during these years, along with other things. There are whole categories of literature that I now cheerfully give away. There are authors whom it is no longer possible to take seriously. But what a comfort the Knut Hamsun is still alive! How fortunate there is Jammes*! And how nice it is to have cleared all the thick biographies of poets, with their boredom and their meager psychology. The rooms look brighter. Treasures remain behind and now they gleam far more brightly. Goethe stands there, Holderlin stands there, all of Dostoevsky stands there, Morike smiles, Arnim flashes audaciously, the Icelandic sagas outlast all troubles. Marchen and folk tales remain indestructible. And the old books, the books in pigskin with a theological look, which for the most part are so much dearer than all the new books, they too are still there. They are something that for once one doesn't mind being outlived by."
My Belief: Essays on Life and Art by Hermann Hesse. Denver Lindley, trans. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York. 1975, pp 93-95.
*Francis Jammes, French Poet (1868-1938)