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The Motive Of Reading

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The very first Uiiiig tobe remembered by him who studies the art of rtsading is that nothing can take tho place rsonalentnuaiaam and personal work. However wise may be the Criendly adviser, and however ful! and ; the chosen hand-book of read■ 'M do mor" tuan to B it. N hing ean take tiii place of direct frmiliarity with books themselves. T Know one good i) ok well is better thïi to know uomethiiiK about a hundred good books, at secuiid hand. The taste ior reading and the habit of reading must alwaya bedeveloped from within; tiiey eau never be added from without All plans and systcins of reading, therefore, should bo taken as lar as possible into oi;', beart of hearts, aad be made a part of bis own mind and thought. Unless tlits can be done, they aro worse than useless. Dr. McCosh says: "The book to rend is not the o:ie tlmt thinks lor you, uut the out: thnt makes you think.'' It is jilaiiï, Uien, tliat a "course of reading" may be a great good or great evil, according to its use. The late Bishop Alon, ) I 'otter, oie of the most judiclous of literary belpers, offered to readers this sound 'pieca oí adrice: '-Do not beso onslaved by any systein or course of study as to think it may not bo altered.'1 However conscioua one may be of bis own deficiënties, and liowever he ïiiay teel the need of outslde aid, lie should never pernsit hls own independence and self-respect to be obliterated. He who reads incessantly," says Uilton: "And to liis reading brings not A spirit and judgiuent ei al or superior, Uucertain and unsettled still remains, Deep versed in books, but shallow in himseU.' The general agreement of intelligent people aa io the meritof an auther or the worth of a lunik, is, of cpun be accopted untll one Buds söme v.iliti reason Eor reversing it. Butnotl ia to be gained by prelending to like what one really dislikes, or to enjoy what one does not lind profltable, or i n intelliglble, If a reader ia not honest and sincere in this matter.tuere is small hope for him. Tlie lowest taste may be cultivated and iraproved, and radically changed.but pretense and artitlclality can never grow into anything better. ïhey must be wholly rooted out at the start. If you dislike Sbakespeare's "Hamlet," and enjoy a trashy otory, say so with sincerity and sorrow, if occasion requires, and liope and work for a reversal of your taste. "Il's good to be honest and true," says Burns, and nowhere is honesty more nei ded than here. It should alwaya be borue in mind tliat tlie busiest reader must loave unread all but a mere fraction of the good books in the world: 'Be nol alarmed because .o man; booka are reoommended," saya Bishop Potter; and "douot ittempt to read much or f ast;" but "daré to be ignorant of many things." There are dow about 1,100.000 priiucd books in tlju iibrary oí the Briü.sh Museum alone; and the libwry of the Bibliotheque Nationale of Paris contains more than 8,000,000 volumes. Mr. F. B. I'ci'kins, anexpeiienced librarían, latea that not usa than 25,000 new books now appeai aunually;and vet the réading of a book fotnight, or say twenty-Üve books a year, ia quite as ïnucli ;is the average reader eau possibly achieve - a rato at which only 1,250 ij.ioks could be read in half a ceutury. Since Ui is is so, he must be very thoughtleaa and very tlmld whofeels any shame in confesaing that he is -.'. holly ignorant oía great many books ; aud on the other hand, none but a vei 5 superficial and conceited reader wiil venture to expresa sorpriee at the Sciencies of othera, when a litUe ilioiijfiit would make his ov n so clearly manifest.


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