Nowadays it's almost impossible to imagine our life without books. Perhaps, there are more books on our planet than men alive. Long before the invention of printing people valued books as treasure troves of the human knowledge and experience. Hand — written manuscripts took months of writing and were collected by and kept in monasteries with utmost care. We can distinguish books between three classes of them. Firstly, books on different branches of knowledge, works by brilliant minds of mankind. Secondly, textbooks, reference books and numerous dictionaries. And at last, books of all kinds and genres to read at leisure. Classics should be taken a little at a time. One's understanding of books by Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, Mopassan and Balzak depends on one's age and experience. Serious books are to be read conscientiously and maybe more than once. To a thinking reader they will provide new food for thought every time he rereads it. Many people indulge in reading science fiction, fantasy or detective stories. Of course, there are some advantages and disadvantages of this kind of literature, often reffered to as «easy reading». As for me, good science fiction and fantasy develop imagination, logical thinking, broader one's outlook. As an old saying goes, man cannot live on bread alone. Books are the source of knowledge and the means of self — perfection. Sometimes it is difficult to solve some problems in life. I think that books can help us. Books must be our friends during all our life. It`s common knowledge that proverbs are wise and memorable sayings. There is a Chinese proverb above, which I do agree with. A garden can be beautiful, with lots of flourishing flowers and fruit trees; you may be impressed by the charm of that kind of a garden. While reading a book, you may be delighted with the book`s plot that might have lots of twists and turns. A fruit tree bears fruits, a book makes you think. I get a kick out of reading and I have no the will power to give up reading, but I don`t read just everything that I haveat hand. I enjoy rereading the novels written by my favourite authors night and day. When I have free time, I strive to find out something new about modern literature and modern writers. I often go to the book shop in my city - Saratov - to buy books which I will read then at home, I know for sure that I will plunge into the atmosphere of the novel and while reading I will learn something important that will help me to change my mind concerning this or that subject or it will help me to cope with some troubles in my real life. You know, believe it or not, but recently I have bought some books written by Paulo Coelho and I have found the answers to my questions - maybe this is only coincidence, though Paulo Coelho writes that there is no coincidence in our lives, everything is interconnected: the first event causes the second event, the second causes the third and so on. Books and reading - these words sound like magic for me; I spent almost every free minute reading a new book or rereading my favourites. So, it`s easy to catch me reading again and again. To cut a long story short I should say that books help me a lot: 1. I just relax, while reading a book. 2. I learn something new or interesting. 3. I find the answers to the questions ... My favourite book is "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I first discovered these stories when I was about twelve and I've loved them ever since. They're brilliantly written, full of bizarre crimes and they've got a terrific Victorian atmosphere. When you read them you really feel like you've been carried back to nineteenthcentury London. All the twentieth century detectives like Miss Marple and Inspector Morse seem really boring compared to Sherlock Holmes. That's where Conan Doyle, really makes you believe that Holmes is unique — a genius with amazing mental powers. Normally I only read detective stories once. I mean, why read them again when you know what happens in the end? With the Sherlock Holmes stories, though, its different. Each time I re-read them I discover more and more to enjoy.