"I cannot live without books." (Thomas Jefferson)
"As soon as Thomas Jefferson learned how to read, he discovered his passion....books,books and more books!" He started a collection of books before the American Revolution. Preferring the classics, Jefferson learned how to read in seven different languages. His book collection at Monticello, his personal estate, eventually became the largest personal library in the United States. When British troops burned the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. during the War of 1812, Jefferson was asked if he would sell his library to replace the burnt books. In 1815, Jefferson sold his entire collection of 6,487 books at a cost of $23,950 to fill the shelves of the rebuilt library. Today, the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world.