题目“就像人每天必须吃饭一样”可译为Libraries Are Indispensable Like Food或Libraries Are Essential Like Our Daily Meals。也可考虑译之为Libraries Are to the Mind What Food Is to the Body，只是用字过多，有些偏离原文。
“一门偏僻的学问”意即“一个冷门”，故译a little-known branch of learning。
“图书馆领导对我格外开恩，在图书馆里给了我一间研究室”可按“图书馆馆长对我特别照顾，在图书馆里给了我一间研究室”译为The curator was thoughtful enough to assign me a research room in the library building，其中把“图书馆领导”按“图书馆馆长”译为curator或the chief librarian；“对我格外开恩”意即“对我照顾有加”，可用thoughtful一词表达。
“躲进小楼成一统”可按“享受幽然独处小屋的乐趣”译为to enjoy the privacy of the small place。
“潜心默读，坐拥书城”可按“坐在书籍满目的小屋里专心读书”译为and sit among my roomful of books reading avidly。
“钻进了孔方兄的网络里难以抽身”意即“只为赚钱”、“一心为财富”等，故译have gone in for money-making，其中to go in for作“追求”解。
Libraries Are Indispensable Like Food
◎ Ji Xianlin
All intellectuals love books. The primary school where I studied didn’t have a library. But, all the way from middle school to university abroad, I never let a day pass without consulting a library. I believe I would have achieved nothing without the help of libraries. I am not the one and only one holding such a view. Generally speaking, all men of learning would agree with me on this point.
I obtained higher education at Tsinghua University, Beijing, where I had four-year dealings with its prestigious library. Later, I went abroad to study at Gottingen University, Germany, and stayed in Europe for altogether eleven years. Gottingen is a small town, but Gottingen University Library boasts a rich collection of books. I specialized in the ancient language of India, obviously a little-known branch of learning. During the eleven years, I wrote many articles thanks to the University Library providing me with whatever materials I needed. Seldom did they fail to supply my wants. Otherwise they would help me out by borrowing from other sources.
In the late autumn of 1946, when Chang’an Street in Beijing was strewn with fallen leaves, I returned to China to work at Peking University. Of all university libraries in China, Peking University Library has the largest collection of books. The curator was thoughtful enough to assign me a research room in the library building and allow me to equip it with necessary books for ready reference taken direct from the stack rooms. So I would withdraw at the first opportunity to my research room to enjoy the privacy of the small place and sit among my roomful of books reading avidly. How happy I was to have, in time of turmoil, this quiet haven plus books so that I could settle down and get on with my pursuit of learning!
I’ve long been connected with Beijing Public Library. At the time when I retuned from Europe, Mr. Yuan Tongli, then its curator, engaged me to check up its collection of books on Sanskrit and see if it was incomplete. I fulfilled the job accordingly.
On the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Wang Chongmin became deputy curator of Beijing Public Library. And, Mr. Zheng Zhenduo, one of my former teachers at Tsinghua University, was Director of the State Bureau for the Preservation of Cultural and Historical Relics. He was a man with great drive, so I offered him the following suggestion:“Our libraries have too few books on orientalism to initiate its study in China. The only way out is to buy books from Europe. They say the Japanese paid great attention to cultural undertakings after the Meiji Restoration. They sent people to Europe and America to visit exclusively second-hand bookstores to buy books on any subjects, useful or not, ranging from liberal arts, science, law to engineering. Consequently, they collected a huge number of ancient books and records. In the matter of orientalism, Japan has now a far greater library collection than China.”But, talented and far-sighted as he was, Mr. Zheng was nevertheless incapable of bringing the matter to fruition due to the constraint of objective conditions. Of course, Beijing Public Library has merits of its own too. For instance, it is world-famous for its unique collection of rare books. But, as far as orientalism is concerned, its collection is even smaller than mine.
Libraries are the treasure-house of knowledge, the important base for popularizing science and culture and transmitting information. They are indispensable to all common people as well as scientific researchers. Alongside the social development, people’s need for the library is getting bigger and bigger. I personally have seldom been separated from the library all my life. It is as essential to me as my regular daily meals. It’s good that the 62nd World Conference on Library Science will be held in China. We should seize the good opportunity to develop with great strides our library undertakings. The richness of collection in the Beijing Public Library ranks 5th in the world and 1st in Asia. Considering its good standing as well as the international prestige of this country, China should have been a venue for the said Conference earlier.
In recent years, due to the impact of commercialism, many have gone in for money-making and ignore the development and enrichment of their spiritual world. The same is true of the academic circles, including Peking University, where many have dropped their occupation to go in for business. But, some, however, rather than succumb to the temptation of high pay in business, stick to their academic work. They study hard and frequent libraries though they are getting on in years. They are the hope and backbone of our nation. But, to our great disturbance, they are in the minority!