Author William Dean Howells died on this day in 1920. He was a friend of Mark Twain. He wrote:
"The mortality of all inanimate things is terrible to me, but that of books most of all."
Also on this day, in 1916, German composer Max Reger died. The following, written in a letter in reply to a critic, doesn't have anything to do with mortality, but we love it nonetheless:
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment, it will be behind me."