... the same today and forever.
Martin Tupper (1810-89) wrote this in an essay 'On Reading' in 1838 - I've got it from my fantastic new Christmas present of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. I am LOVING this book, its so browsable and read-aloud-able.
I actually think he's wrong in that
a) real people and good friends are WAY better than books (except maybe in the middle of the night when it is a bit anti-social to phone someone if you just want some company or to pass the time)
b) good friends change over time and growing up together is part of what makes for a good friend and a good friendship
c) books change over time - some of the classics I read as a teenager are completely different now.
This Christmas I've re-remembered how many great (real) friends I've got, and I'm thankful for them. I'll be trying to spend more time with them next year - and more time with the shelf-bound 'friends' too.