I do not propose in these introductory remarks to this Nature Library to discuss the merits or the character of the separate volumes further than to say that they are all by competent hands and, so far as I can judge, entirely reliable. While accurate and scientific, I have found them very readable. The treatment is popular without being sensational.<br><br>This library is free from the scientific dry rot on the one hand and from the florid and misleading romanticism of much recent nature writing on the other. It is a safe guide to the world of animal and plant life that lies about us. And that is all the wise reader wants. He should want to explore this world for himself. Indeed, nature-study, as it appeals to us in books, fails of its chief end if it does not send us to nature itself. What we want is not the mere facts about the flowers or the animals — we want through them to add to the resources of our lives; and I know of nothing better calculated to do this than the study of nature at first hand. To add to the resources of one's life — think how much that means! To add to those things that make us more at home in the world; that help guard us against ennui and stagnation; that invest the country with new interest and enticement; that make every walk in the fields or woods an excursion into a land of unexhausted treasures; that make the returning seasons fill us with expectation and delight; that make every rod of ground like the page of a book in which new and strange things may be read; in short, those things that help keep us fresh and sane and young, and make us immune to the strife and fever of the world.<br><br>The main thing is to feel an interest in Nature — an interest that leads to a loving unconscious study of her. Not entirely a scientific interest, but a human interest as well; science upon the one hand and an appreciation of the mystery, the beauty, and the bounty of life upon the other.