Henry Ward Beecher (June 24, 1813 – March 8, 1887) was a clergyman, social reformer, and abolitionist. Among his other rich and varied accomplishments Henry Ward Beecher wrote a series of papers under the title "Star Papers." This collection of papers, first published in 1873, includes a humorous passage about the book lover and the measures that he or she must go to obtain books.
Henry Ward Beecher portrays the poor man finding a new book and deciding that the simply must have it. Never mind if he has to eat less for a while. For the book lover food for the mind is more important by far.
For the married book lover the book addiction is even more awkward. Henry Ward Beecher shows the book lover going home with a collection of new books.
"What is that, my dear?" she asks.
"Oh! Nothing—a few books that I can not do without," the book lover answers.
Naturally, such exchanges can not occur too often.
During the 1800's the processes of printing, publishing, bookbinding, and book selling were just beginning to split off into separate businesses. Most books were printed and bound at bookstores. Taking into account inflation books were considerably more expensive then than they are today.
As a consequence such love of literature could be a costly habit.