1.15.2008

"To commune with these great writers of all time is one of the finest habits possible."

My project for the year is to follow the Daily Reading Guide from my great-grandfather's set of Harvard Classics, which lived for my entire childhood in the upstairs hall, untouched, until I moved it to my upstairs hall in 2000.

The idea of the Daily Reading Guide is to make you actually open some of the fifty volumes you bought by giving you a little homework every night -- the famous "fifteen minutes a day." Or, as they put it in delightful early 20th-century advertising prose,

That fifteen minutes will carry you on wings of romance and adventure to other lands, to the scenes of other days and will break the monotony of your days, will change the course of your thinking, will give you the privilege of contact with the great minds who writings have stimulated and inspired mankind over the centuries.

Break the monotony of my days, eh? We'll see about that. Even so, I am enjoying the antique, pre-broadcasting idea that contact with the great minds will be stimulating and inspiring. These days we have motivational speakers for that.

Anyway, you can follow my progress here.

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