One day, Benjamin Franklin, whose birthday is today (17 Jan 1706), was dining with friends in Paris.
A fellow diner posed this question for discussion:
“What condition of man most deserves pity?”
Each guest suggested an example.
But, as usual, Benjamin Franklin was very perceptive. His answer?
“A lonesome man on a rainy day who does not know how to read.”
BTW, in 1731, Franklin founded America’s first public circulating library so that less afluent Americans who didn’t have enough money to buy books could borrow them.
A library isn’t so useful to a man who can’t read.
(Note also: the library founded by Franklin in 1731 was the Library Company of Philadelphia which was neither free nor public. Franklin did donate books to help start a public library in 1778. Whether this library was the first public library is a matter of dispute.)