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The great use in reading is for self-discovery. Inspirational, character-making, life-shaping books are the main thing. Cotton Mather's " Essay to Do Good " influenced the whole career of Benjamin Franklin.

There are books that have raised the ideals and materially influenced entire nations. Who can estimate the value of books that spur ambition, that awaken slumbering possibilities? Are we ambitious to associate with people who inspire us to nobler deeds? Let us then read uplifting books, which stir us to make the most of ourselves. We all know how completely changed we sometimes are after reading a book which has taken a strong, vigorous hold upon us.

Thousands of people have found themselves through the reading of some book, which has opened the door within them and given them the first glimpse of their possibilities. I know men and women whose whole lives have been molded, the entire trend of their careers completely changed, uplifted beyond their dreams by the books they have read.

When Senator Petters of Alabama went to California on horseback in 1849, he took with him a Bible, Shakespeare, and Burns's poems. He said that those books read and thought about, on the great plains, for ever after spoiled him for reading poorer books.

" The silence, the solitude," he said, " and the strange flickering light of the camp fire, seemed to bring out the tremendous significance of those great books; and I treasure them today as my choicest possessions."

Marshall Field and other proprietors of the great business houses of Chicago petitioned the school authorities for improved instruction along moral lines, affirming that the boys needed religious ideas to make them more reliable in business affairs.

It has been said by President White of Cornell that, "The great thing needed to be taught in this country is truth, simple ethics, the distinction between right and wrong. Stress should be laid upon what is best in biography, upon noble deeds and sacrifices, especially those which show that the greatest man is not the greatest orator, or the tricky politician. They are a curse; what we need is noble men. National loss comes as the penalty for frivolous boyhood and girlhood, that gains no moral stamina from wholesome books."

If youths learn to feed on the thoughts of the great men and women of all times, they will never again be satisfied with the common or low; they will never again be satisfied with mediocrity; they will aspire to something higher and nobler. A day which is passed without treasuring up some good thought is not well spent. Every day is a leaf in the book of life. Do not waste a day any more than you would tear out leaves from the book of life.

The Bible, such manuals as " Daily Strength for Daily Needs," such books as Professor C. C. Everett's " Ethics for Young People "; Lucy Elliott Keeler's " If I Were a Girl Again "; " Beauty through Hygiene," by Dr. Emma F. Walker, such essays as Robert L. Stevenson's " Gentlemen " (in his " Familiar Studies of Men and Books ") Munger's " On the Threshold "; John Ruskin's " Sesame and Lilies" - these are the books that make young men and maidens so trustworthy that the Marshall Fields and John Wanamakers want their aid in the conduct of great business concerns.

Blessed are they who go much farther in later years, and who become familiar with those

"Olympian bards who sang Divine ideas below, Which always find us young And always keep us so."

The readers who do not know the Concord philosopher Emerson, and the great names of antiquity, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus and Plato, have yet great pleasures to come. Aside from reading fiction, books of travel are of the best for mental diversion; then there are Nature Studies, and Science and Poetry, - all affording wholesome recreation, all of an uplifting character, and some of them opening up study specialties of the highest order, as in the great range of books classified as Natural Science.

The reading and study of poetry is much like the interest one takes in the beauties of natural scenery. Much of the best poetry is indeed a poetic interpretation of nature. Whittier and Longfellow and Bryant lead their readers to look on nature with new eyes, as Ruskin opened the eyes of Henry Ward Beecher.

A great deal of the best prose is in style and sentiment of a true poetic character, lacking only the metrical form. To become familiar with Tennyson and Shakespeare, and the brilliant catalogue of British poets is in itself a liberal education. Rolfe's Shakespeare is in handy volumes, and so edited as to be of most service. Palgrave's " Golden Treasury" of the best songs and lyrical poems in the English language was edited with the advice and collaboration of Tennyson. His "Children's Treasury " of lyrical poetry is most attractive.

Emerson's Parnassus, and Whittier's "Three Centuries of Song" are excellent collections of the most famous poems of the ages.

Of Books of Travel, here are a dozen titles, where one might easily name twelve hundred.

Ÿ Edmondo de Amicis, - ` Holland and Its People," and his " Constantinople."

Ÿ Frank T. Bullen's " Cruise of the Cachelot Round the World After Sperm Wales."

Ÿ J. M. Hoppin's " Old England."

Ÿ Clifton Johnson, "Among English Hedgerows."

Ÿ W. D. Howell's " Venetian Life "; " Italian Journeys.

Ÿ " Irving's " Sketch Book," and the " Alhambra.

Ÿ " Henry James, " Portraits of Places."

Ÿ Arthur Smith's "Chinese Characteristics," and his " Village Life in China."

It would be impossible to list books more interesting and more useful than most fiction, which may be called Nature Studies. I will name a few books that will certainly incite the reader to search for more

Ÿ Ernest Ingersoll's " Book of the Ocean."

Ÿ Professor E. S. Holder's " The Sciences," a reading book for children.

Ÿ Jean Mace's "History of a Mouthful of Bread.

Ÿ " E. A. Martin's " Story of a Piece of Coal."

Ÿ Professor Charles A. Young's "The Sun," revised edition 1895.

Ÿ Serviss' " Astronomy with an Opera-Glass," " Pleasures of the Telescope," " The Skies and the Earth."

Ÿ Thoreau's " Walden ; or Life in the Woods."

Ÿ Mrs. F. T. Parsons' (Smith) Dana. "According to Seasons"; talks about the flowers in the order of their appearance in the woods and fields. Describes wild flowers in order of blooming, with information about their haunts and habits. Also, by the same author, " How to Know the Wild Flowers. Describes briefly more than 400 varieties common east of Chicago, grouping them by color.

Ÿ Seton-Thompson's "Wild Animals I have Known"; of which 100,000 copies sold.

Ÿ F. A. Lucas' "Animals of the Past."

Ÿ Bradford Towey's " Birds in the Bush," and "Everyday Birds."

Ÿ President D. S. Jordan's "True Tales of Birds and Beasts."

Ÿ D. L. Sharp's " A Watcher in the Woods."

Ÿ W. H. Gibson's " Sharp Eyes."

Ÿ M. W. Morley's " The Bee-people."

Never before was a practical substitute for a college education at home made so cheap, so easy, and so attractive. Knowledge of all kinds is placed before us in a most attractive and interesting manner. The best of the literature of the world is found today in thousands of American homes where fifty years ago it could only have been obtained by the rich.

What a shame it is that under such conditions as these an American should grow up ignorant, should be uneducated in the midst of such marvelous opportunities for self-improvement! Indeed, most of the best literature in every line today appears in the current periodicals, in the form of short articles. Many of our greatest writers spend a vast amount of time in the drudgery of travel and investigation in gathering material for these articles, and the magazine publishers pay thousands of dollars for what a reader can get for ten or fifteen cents. Thus the reader secures for a trifle in periodicals or books the results of months and often years of hard work and investigation of our greatest writers.

A New York millionaire, - a prince among merchants, took me over his palatial residence on Fifth Avenue, every room of which was a triumph of the architect's, of the decorator's, and of the upholsterer's art. I was told that the decorations of a single sleeping room had cost ten thousand dollars. On the walls were paintings secured at fabulous prices, and about the rooms were pieces of massive and costly furniture, and draperies representing a small fortune, and carpets on which it seemed almost sacrilege to tread covered the floors. But there was scarcely a book in the house.

He had expended a fortune for physical pleasures, comforts, luxury, and display. It was pitiful to think of the physical surfeit and mental starvation of the children of such a home as that. When I went out, he told me that he came to the city a poor boy, with all his worldly possessions done up in a little red bandana. " I am a millionaire," he said, " but I want to tell you that I would give half I have today for a decent education."

Many a rich man has confessed to confidential friends and his own heart that he would give much of his wealth, - all, if necessary, - to see his son a manly man, free from the habits which abundance has formed and fostered till they have culminated in sin and degradation and perhaps crime; and has realized that, in all his ample provision, he has failed to provide that which might have saved his son and himself from loss and torture, good books.

There is a wealth within the reach of the poorest mechanic and day-laborer in this country that kings in olden times could not possess, and that is the wealth of a well-read, cultured mind. In this newspaper age, this age of cheap books and periodicals, there is no excuse for ignorance, for a coarse, untrained mind. Today no one is so handicapped, if he have health and the use of his faculties, that he can not possess himself of wealth that will enrich his whole life, and enable him to converse and mingle with the most cultured people. No one is so poor but that it is possible for him to lay hold of that which will broaden his mind, which will inform and improve him, and lift him out of the brute stage of existence into their god-like realm of knowledge.

"No entertainment is so cheap as reading," says Mary Wortley Montague; "nor any pleasure so lasting." Good books elevate the character, purify the taste, take the attractiveness out o f low pleasures, and lift us upon a higher plane of thinking and living.

" A great part of what the British spend on books," says Sir John Lubbock, " they save in prisons and police." It seems like a miracle that the poorest boy can converse freely with the greatest philosophers and scientists, statesmen, warriors, authors of all time with little expense, that the inmates of the humblest cabin may follow the stories of the nations, the epochs of history, the story of liberty, the romance of the world, and the course of human progress.

Have you just been to a well educated sharp-sighted employer to find work? You did not need to be at any trouble to tell him the names of the books you have read, because they have left their indelible mark upon your face and your speech. Your pinched, starved vocabulary, your lack of polish, your slang expressions, tell him of the trash you have given your precious time to. He knows that you have not rightly systemized your hours. He knows that thousands of young men and women whose lives are crowded to overflowing with routine work and duties, manage to find time to keep posted on what is going on in the world, and for systematic, useful reading.

Carlyle said that a collection of books is a university. What a pity that the thousands of ambitious, energetic men and women who missed their opportunities for an education at the school age, and feel crippled by their loss, fail to catch the significance of this, fail to realize the tremendous cumulative possibilities of that great life-improver that admirable substitute for a college or university education -reading.

" Of the things which man can do or make here below," it was said by the sage of Chelsea, " by far the most momentous, wonderful, and worthy, are the things we call Books! Those poor bits of rag-paper with black ink on them; from the Daily Newspaper to the sacred Hebrew Book, what have they not done, what are they not doing? "

President Schurmann of Cornell, points with pride to a few books in his library which he says he bought when a poor boy by going many a day without his dinner. The great German Professor Oken was not ashamed to ask Professor Agassiz to dine with him on potatoes and salt, that he might save money for books.

King George III, used to say that lawyers do not know so much more law than other people; but they know better where to find it. A practical working knowledge of how to find what is in the book world, relating to any given point, is worth a vast deal from a financial point of view. And by such knowledge, one forms first an acquaintance with books, then friendship.

" When I consider," says James Freeman Clarke, " what some books have done for the world, and what they are doing, how they keep up our hope, awaken new courage and faith, soothe pain, give an ideal of life to those whose homes are hard and cold, bind together distant ages and foreign lands, create new worlds of beauty, bring down truths from heaven, I give eternal blessings for this gift."

For the benefit of the younger readers we give below a list of forty juveniles.

Ÿ Aesop's " Fables."

Ÿ Louise M. Alcott's " Little Women," " Little Men," which stood at the top 0f a list

of books chosen in eleven thousand elementary class-rooms in New York.

Ÿ T. B. Aldrich's " Story of a Bad Boy." Anderson's " Fairy Tales."

Ÿ Amelia E. Barr's "The Bow of Orange Ribbon," a book for girls.

Ÿ " Black Beauty."

Ÿ E. S. Brooks, "True Story 0f General Grant."

Ÿ Bulfinch's "Children's Lives 0f Great Men," " Age 0f Chi alry," and "Age of Fable."

Ÿ Bullen's "Log of a Sea Waif."

Ÿ Burnett's " Little Lord Fauntleroy," and " Sara Crewe," the latter a book for girls.

Ÿ Butterworth's " Zig-Zag journeys."

Ÿ Carleton Coffin's, "Boys' of '76'"'

Ÿ Lovett Carson s "The Making 0f a Girl."

Ÿ Ralph Connor's "Gwent" a book for girls.

Ÿ Louis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland," and "Through the Looking Glass."

Ÿ Dana's " Two Years Before the Mast."

Ÿ De Amicin's Cuore," which has sold 200,000 in Italy.

Ÿ DeFoe's " Robinson Crusoe."

Ÿ Mary Mapes Dodge, " Hans Brinker," or " The Silver Skates;' "Life in Holland."

Ÿ Eugene Field's " A Little Book of Profitable Tales." It has sold 200,000

copies. Ÿ Grimm's "Fairy Tales." Ÿ Habberton's " Helen's Babies." Ÿ E. E. Hale's " Boy Heroes." Ÿ Chandler Harris' " Little Mr. Thimblefinger and His Queer Country; What the

Children Saw and Heard There. Fantastic tale interweaving negro animal stories

and other Georgia folklore with modern inventions. "Mr. Rabbit At Home";

sequel to " Little Mr. Thimblefinger and His Queer Country." Animal stories told

to children. Ÿ Charles Kingsley's " Water Babies." Ÿ Kipling's " jungle Books," which have sold 175,000 copies. Knox's ' Boy

Travelers." Ÿ Lanier's "Boy Froissart," and "Boy's King Arthur." Edward Lear's "Nonsense

Books." Ÿ Mabie's " Norse Stories." Ÿ Samuel's " From the Forecastle to the Cabin." The experi ences of the author who

ran away and shipped as cabin boy; points out dangers that of a seafaring life. Ÿ Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney's " Faith Gartney's Girlhood." Ÿ Kate Douglas Wiggin's " Rebecca 0f Sunnybrook Farm."

Not long ago President Eliot of Harvard College aroused widespread controversy over his selection of a library of books, which might be contained on a five-foot shelf. We append his selections as indicative of the choice of a great scholar and educator.

The following sixteen titles may be had in Everyman's Library, cloth 35 c. net per volume; leather 70 c. net per volume

President Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf

Ÿ Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography

Ÿ Sir Thomas Browne's " Religio Medici., ' "Confessions of St. Augustine."

Ÿ Shelley's "The Cenci" (contained in volume two of the complete works).

Ÿ Emerson's "English Traits," and "Representative Men." Emerson's Essays.

Ÿ Chaucer's " Canterbury Tales." Bacon's Essays.

Ÿ Walton's " Complete Angler." Milton's Poems.

Ÿ Goethe's "Faust" Marlowe's " Dr. Faustus." Marcus Aurelius' " Meditations."

Ÿ Browning's " Blot on the Scutcheon " (contained in volume one of the poems).

Ÿ Dante's " Divine Comedy." Bunyan's ; ` Pilgrim's Progress."

Ÿ Thomas A. Kempis' "Imitation of Christ" Burns's "Tam O'Shanter."

Ÿ Dryden's "Translation of the Aeneid." Walton's Lives of Donne, and Herbert Ben

Johnson's " Volpone."

Ÿ Smith's "Wealth of Nations." Plutarch's "Lives."

Ÿ Letters of Pliny. Cicero's Select Letters. Plato's " Phaedrus." Epictetus' Discourses.

Socrates' "Apology and Crito."

Ÿ Beaumont and Fletcher's "Maid's Tragedy." Milton's Tractate on Education.

Ÿ Bacon's "New Atlantis." Darwin's "Origin of Species."

Ÿ Webster's " Duchess of Malfi." Dryden's "All for Love."

Ÿ Thomas Middleton's "The Changeling."

Ÿ John Woolman's Journal." Arabian Nights."

Ÿ Tennyson's " Becket."

Ÿ Penn's " Fruits of Solitude."

Ÿ Milton's "Areopagitica."

The following list of books is offered as suggestive of profitable lines of reading for all classes and tastes

Books on Nature

Ÿ Thoreau's, "Cape Cod," "Maine Woods,' "Excursions."

Ÿ Burroughs' "Ways of Nature," "Wake Robin," " Signs and Seasons," " Pepacton."

Ÿ Jefferies' "Life of the Fields," "Wild Life in a Southern Country," and "Idylls of Field and

Hedgerow." Ÿ Lubbock's "Beauties of Nature." Maeterlinck's "Life of the Bee." Thompson's "My

Winter Garden." Warner's "My Summer in a Garden." Ÿ Van Dyke's "Little Rivers," "Fisherman's Luck." White's "The Forest" Ÿ Mrs. Wright's "Garden of a Commuter's Wife." Wordsworth's and Bryant's Poems. Ÿ Novels Descriptive of American Life Simms' "The Partisan." Ÿ Cooper's "The Spy."

Ÿ Hawthorne's "The House of the Seven Gables." Cable's "Old Creole Days," " The

Grandissimes." Howells' "The Rise of Silas Lapham."

Ÿ Howells' "A Hazard of New Fortunes." Eggleston's "A Hoosier Schoolmaster."

Ÿ Bret Harte's "Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Stories." Mary Hallock Foote's."The

Led-Horse Claim."

Ÿ Octave Thanet's "Heart of Toil," "Stories of a Western Town."

Ÿ Wister's "The Virginian," "Lady Baltimore."

Ÿ E. Hopkinson Smith's "The Fortune of Oliver Horn."

Ÿ Thomas Nelson Page's "Short Stories," and "Red Rock."

Ÿ Mrs. Delands' "Old Chester Tales."J. L.

Ÿ Allen's "Flute and Violin," "The Choir Invisible."

Ÿ Frank Norris' "The Octopus," "The Pit"

Ÿ Garland's "Main Traveled Roads."

Ÿ Miss Jewett's "Country of the Pointed Firs," "The Tory Lover."

Ÿ Miss Wilkins' "New England Nun," "Pembroke." Churchill's "The Crisis," " Coniston,'

"Mr. Crewe's Career." Brander Matthews' "His Father's Son."

Ÿ S. Weir Mitchell's "Hugh Wynne."

Ÿ Fox's "The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come." Mrs. Wharton's "The House of Mirth."

Ÿ Robert Grant's "Unleavened Bread."

Ÿ Robert Herrick's "The Common Lot," "The Memoirs of an American Citizen."

Ÿ Grace E. King's " Balcony Stories."

Books Which Interpret American Ideals

Ÿ Emerson's Addresses and Essays.

Ÿ Lowell's Essay on Democracy. Lincoln's Inaugural Addresses.

Ÿ Booker T. Washington's "Up from Slavery."

Ÿ Jacob Riis' "The Making of An American."

Ÿ Higginson's "The New World and the New Book."

Ÿ Brander Matthews' "Introduction to American Literature."

Ÿ Whittier's " Snow-Bound."

Ÿ Louise Manley's " Southern Literature."

Ÿ Thomas Nelson Page's " The Old South."

Ÿ E. J. Turner's "The Rise of the New West."

Ÿ Churchill's " The Crossing."

Ÿ James Bryce's " American Commonwealth."

Some of the Best Biographies "

Ÿ Life of Sir Walter Scott," Lockhart.

Ÿ "Life of Frederick the Great," Carlyle.

Ÿ "Alfred Lord Tennyson," by his son.

Ÿ "Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley," by his son.

Ÿ Plutarch's " Lives."

Ÿ "Lives of Seventy of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors & Architects," Vasari.

Ÿ " Cicero and His Friends," Boissier.

Ÿ " Life of Samuel Johnson," Boswell.

Ÿ Autobiography of Leigh Hunt.

Ÿ "Memoirs of My Life and Writings," Gibbon.

Ÿ Autobiography of Martineau.

Ÿ "Life of John Sterling," Carlyle.

Ÿ " Life and Times of Goethe," Grimm.

Ÿ "Life and Letters of Macaulay," Trevelyan.

Ÿ " Life of Charles James Fox," Trevelyan.

Ÿ "Life of Carlyle," Froude.

Ÿ Benvenuto Cellini's Autobiography.

Ÿ Boswell's "Johnson."

Ÿ Trevelyan s " Life of Macaulay."

Ÿ Carlyle's, " Frederick the Great."

Ÿ Stanley's, " Thomas Arnold."

Ÿ Hughes', "Alfred the Great."

Ÿ Mrs. Kingsley's, "Charles Kingsley."

Ÿ Lounsbury's, "Cooper."

Ÿ Greenslet s, ` Lowell' and " Aldrich."

Ÿ Mims', " Sidney Lanier."

Ÿ Wister's, " Seven Ages of Washington."

Ÿ Grant's Autobiography.

Ÿ Morley's, " Chatham."

Ÿ Harrison's, "Cromwell."

Ÿ W. Clark Russell's, " Nelson."

Ÿ Morse's, " Benjamin Franklin."

Twenty-four American Biographies "

Ÿ Abraham Lincoln," Schurz.

Ÿ " Life of George Washington," Irving.

Ÿ "Charles Eliot, Landscape Architect," Eliot.

Ÿ "Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife," Hawthorne.

Ÿ "Henry Wadsworth Longfellow," Higginson.

Ÿ " James Russell Lowell," Greenslet.

Ÿ " Life of Francis Parkman," Farnham. "

Ÿ Edgar Allen Poe," Woodberry.

Ÿ Autobiography of Joseph Jefferson.

Ÿ " Walt Whitman," Perry.

Ÿ "Life and Letters of Whittier," Pickard.

Ÿ " James Russell Lowell and His Friends," Hale.

Ÿ "George Washington," Wilson.

Ÿ Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. "

Ÿ Story of My Life," Helen Keller.

Ÿ "Autobiography of a Journalist," Stillman. "

Ÿ Autobiography of Seventy Years," Hoar.

Ÿ "Life of Thomas Bailey Aldrich," Greenslet. "

Ÿ Life of Alice Freeman Palmer," Palmer. "

Ÿ Personal Memoirs," Grant.

Ÿ " Memoirs," Sherman.

Ÿ " Memoirs of Ralph Waldo Emerson," Cabot.

Ÿ " Sidney Lanier," Mims.

Ÿ "Life of J. Fenimore Cooper," Lounsbury.

The books enumerated have been selected as examples of the best in their respective classes. Even those books of fiction chosen, primarily, for entertainment, are instructive and educational. Whether the reader's taste runs to history, biography, travel, nature study, or fiction, he may select any one of the books named in these respective classifications and be assured of possessing a volume worthy of reading and ownership.

It is the author's hope and desire that the list of books he has given, limited as it is, may prove of value to those seeking self-education, and that the books may encourage the disheartened, stimulate ambition, and serve as stepping stones to higher ideals and nobler purposes in life.


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