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Know, dear son, that days are but hours, and hours are but breaths, and every soul is a container, hence let not any breath pass without benefit, such that on the Day of Judgement you find an empty container and feel regret!

Be aware of every hour and how it passes, and only spend it in the best possible way; do not neglect yourself, but render it accustomed to the noblest and best of actions, and send to your grave that which will please you when you arrive to it.

If I were to describe my state, then I am never content with reading books, and when I see a book that I had not seen before, it is as if I have found a treasure. … And if I said that I read 20,000 books, then in truth it would be more, and I was then still a student.

I benefitted from reading those books by observing the lives of the early people, and the extent of their memorization, their determination, their worship, the diversity of their disciplines, of which one would not know had one not read those books. Thus I disliked the current state of people and looked down on the weak determination of students nowadays. And to Allah is all praise.

(Ibn al-Jawzī in his Lafat al-Kabid fī Naṣīḥat al-Walad)