In the days of my youth, for those of us who liked to read, the dictionary was a magical object of mysterious powers."
He also writes about how libraries are like dictionaries. He notes, "Aby Warburg, the great reader, defined for us all what he called a library’s "law of the good neighbor." According to Warburg, the book with which one was familiar was not, in most cases, the book one needed. It was the unknown neighbor on the same shelf that contained the vital information. The same can be said of the words in a dictionary."
Want to read more about dictionaries? Try Simon Winchester's book The Professor and the Madman : A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, available at the DiMenna-Nyselius Library.