Medical literature is a necessity to a physician, and preeminently so to a homoeopathic physician.
It is true that while many books of the orthodox school, especially those pertaining to the fundamental sciences, remain standard for a considerable time, those pertaining to orthodox therapeutics become obsolete in a short time because there is no basic and continuing law of treatment in orthodox medicine.
Homoeopathic literature, because of the basic laws underlying homoeopathic practice, holds an entirely difficult place in the field of medical literature. So careful and painstaking was the work of he earl authors, that the only limitations today on the work of Hahnemann, Boenninghausen, Hering, and the other standard-bearers, is that of additional remedies that have been developed since their works were published.
We are told that the sale of medical books has not materially decreased during this depression. The demand for homoeopathic books is constant throughout the world, and is very much on the increase in countries like India, where masses of people are turning toward homoeopathy. There was a time when seventy-five per cent of homoeopathic publications sold in this country, and the other twenty-five per cent abroad, Today the percentage is exactly reversed.
There is some change, too, in the type of subject matter in demand. Besides the standard homoeopathic materia medicas, as edited by various physicians of note, and which every homoeopathic physician must have in his library for reference, there is a growing demand for such works as the general repertory, for their reference value is becoming better appreciated. Boenninghausens Therapeutic Pocket Book has gone through seven English editions: Kents repertory, in its fourth edition, is about ready for distribution.
Besides these very-day tools which every homoeopathic practitioner must have there is a crying need for other methods of approach to homoeopathy, especially practical helps.
In choosing a homoeopathic library the young man needs to use caution in selecting his volumes.
Whatever his academic interesting may be, his need in practice is to secure a good working and reference library-one that will help him solve his difficult problems. Many of the standard works that have stood the test of time are out of print and hard to secure.
It is the duty of the homoeopathic profession to see to it that new books are published that will continue the teaching of practical applications of the laws which are fundamental in the homoeopathic school.
It is the duty if homoeopathic physicians to provide for the future care of their valuable libraries, that these be not destroyed, as so many of them have been destroyed, because their value was not appreciated by those who fell heir them. If you are a real homoeopathic physician, believing in homoeopathic principles, you will provide that you books be not destroyed, but pass on into appreciative hands where homoeopathy will be perpetuated.
If you cannot build a living monument by writing a practical, helpful homoeopathic book, let your memory live through those well-tried books you have in your library-H.A.R.
It may be if interest to readers of the Recorder to learn that he “eulogy” in the last issue of the journal came as a complete surprise to the editor. We respectfully suggest to all members of the Editorial Board that they consider framing a code making premortem eulogies illegal!-H.A.R.