Yes, friends are necessary for all kinds of things – to laugh with, to cry over, to share good news with. But nothing beats having a friend who owns books.
When I was a child, books were usually borrowed from the lending library which was housed in a dark basement shop. There was a restaurant above it, and as we browsed the racks of yellow paged books, we would smell the thick aroma of sambar, the crisp, sour smell of dosas and the heavenly smell of coffee. But books still held us captive and we stayed for as long as we could, often reading the books standing there, so we could borrow other books to take home and enjoy.
It was only much later that I realised the absolute delight of having friends with books. For one thing, they were always buying new ones. For another, they liked sharing books. And every visit was not merely a social occasion, but also an opportunity to come away with lots of new books and spend hours when we next met, discussing them. And they never wondered why I wanted to read the same book again and again and again. They simply handed it over with an understanding smile.
So, yes, having friends with books is one of the nicest things ever.
The only thing better than having a friend to borrow books from is becoming the friend that people borrow books from!