There rose within him the tantalizing faith that somewhere an easy gate existed, which if one found would admit him freely to those outer deeps whose echoes rattled so dimly at the back of his memory.
These are not on the public shelves lest untrained handling cause the collapse of everything it is possible to imagine. 1
Come: see the instrument of Their homecoming- what you have come looking for. The new Bible... that starts the Change... helps you See...
— Sutter Cane, In the Mouth of Madness
The Necronomicon?? You can't be shown one!
While the libraries never will loan one!
But if it's so rare
And guarded with care
Why does every nut case seem to own one?
— Dennis Maggard
Urag gro-Shub: An Elder Scroll is an instrument of immense knowledge and power. To read an Elder Scroll, a person must have the most rigorously trained mind, or else risk madness. Even so, the Divines usually take the reader's sight as a price.
Dragonborn: A price for what?
Urag gro-Shub: The simplest way to put it is "knowledge," but there's nothing simple about an Elder Scroll. It's a reflection of all possible futures and all possible pasts. Each reader sees different reflections through different lenses, and may come away with a very different reading. But at the same time, all of it is true. Even the falsehoods. Especially the falsehoods.
Dragonborn: Who wrote the Elder Scrolls?
Urag gro-Shub: It would take a month to explain to you how that very question doesn't even make sense. The Scrolls exist here, with us, but also beyond and beneath. Before and after. They are bits of the Divine made substance so we could know them... sorry, talking about the Scrolls, you usually end up in irritating and vague metaphors like that. Some people who study them devoutly go mad.
"The Old Ones wrote novels?"
"I doubt you’d appreciate them. Even if you learned the language and the writing didn’t drive you insane, they’re … well, they’re for a select audience."
Once a spider skittered halfway across Flagg's book, touched a spell so terrible not even the magician dared use it, and turned instantly to stone.
"I have examined this book, perused its pages, and inspected the reflections of those despicable authors who have added their peculiar insights into this most foul work, yet I refuse to see this tome as evil. This book is just a book. Where evil exists in regard to this tome is in the intent behind its use. I can imagine how a wretched man with darkness in his heart might find the contents here instructive to feeding his vile ambition. Yet can we not also see how a virtuous man might scan these same pages for insights into how he might triumph over that same darkness? This book is a tool and nothing more. Do not be put off by the sharpened edges and the curious odors wafting from its pages."
—Shemeshka the Marauder, on the Book of Vile Darkness
"Flesh. Bone. Bound together with the oddest magickal incantation. This wretched book is where it all began so long ago. Before time, before humanity."
— Doctor Edward Roivas, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem