Excerpt from On Reading in Relation to Literature No doubt you will think that this statement of the case confuses reading with study. You might say, When we read history or philosophy or science, then we do read very thoroughly, studying all the meanings and bearings of the text, slowly, and thinking about it. This is hard study. But when we read a story or a poem out of class-hour, we read for amusement. Amusement and study are two differ ent things. I am t sure that you all thinkthis; but young men generally do so think. As a matter of fact, every book worth reading ought to be read In precisely the same way that a scientific book Is read t simply for amusement; and every book worth reading should have the same amount of value in it that a scientific book has, though the value may be of a totally different kind. For, after all, the good book of fiction or romance or poetry is a scientific work; it has been composed according to the best principles of more than one science, but especially according to the principles of the great science of life, the kwledge of human nature. In regard to foreign, books, this is especially true; but the advice suggested will be harder to follow when we read in a language which is t our own. Nevertheless, how many Englishmen do you suppose really read a good book in Eng lish? How many Frenchmen read a great book in their own tongue? Probably t more than one in two thousand of those who think that they read. What is more, although there are w published every year in London upwards of six thousand books, at time has there been so little good reading done by the average public as to-day. Books are written, sold, and read after a fashion or rather accord in g to the fashion. There is a fashion in literature as well as in everything else; and a particular kind of amusement be ing desired by the public, a particular kind of reading is given to supply the demand. So useless have become to this public the arts and graces of real literature, the great thoughts which should belong to a great book, that men of letters have almost ceased to produce true literature. When a man can obtain a great deal of money by writing a book without style or beauty, a mere narrative to amuse, and kws at the same time that if he should give three. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.