The importance of reading to spiritual growth was often explored in The Youth’s Companion. However, few pieces were as blunt on the subject as “Pleasant and Profitable,” which maintains that reading the wrong kind of books—or not reading at all—will keep children from going to heaven. Its illustration appeared in several periodicals, including The Juvenile Miscellany, and in the masthead of the 1841 issues of Youth’s Cabinet. The piece probably was reprinted from The Myrtle, published in Dover, New Hampshire.
[Nursery] “Pleasant and Profitable” (reprinted from The Myrtle; from The Youth’s Companion, August 27, 1846; p. 67)
a boy reading

Here is a picture of a little boy reading a book on the grass and among the flowers. Those who love to read good books, will become wise and good; but those who dislike books, or read none but bad ones, will have bad thoughts and desires, and wicked hearts. They will not like to hear about good things, nor will they love good people. When they die, instead of going to heaven with Jesus, angels and people that are good, they will go where there are no good folks, and where nothing good can ever come. All the good are on their way to the good place, and will be happy after they die; so all the bad are on the way to a place of darkness and wo, and will be unhappy after they are dead. O, how much better it is to be good, than love bad books and bad things.—Myrtle

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