Full Online Books
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
Full Online Book HomeEssaysThe Library Of A Lover
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
The Library Of A Lover Post by :dzinecity Category :Essays Author :Heywood Broun Date :November 2011 Read :3106

Click below to download : The Library Of A Lover (Format : PDF)

The Library Of A Lover

THE responsibilities of a book reviewer, always heavy, sometimes assume a gravity which makes it quite impossible for them to be borne on any single pair of shoulders. We have received a letter to-day upon which so much depends that we hesitate to answer without requesting advice from readers. It is from a young man in Pittsburgh who identifies himself merely by the initials X. Q., which we presume to be fictitious. He writes as follows:

"As a reader of the book columns of The Tribune I am humbly requesting your assistance in the matter of a little experiment that I desire to perform. I find myself highly enamored of a superlatively attractive young lady who has, however, one apparent drawback to me. That lies in the fact that she has never cultivated a taste for really worth while reading. Such reading to me is one of the greatest of life's pleasures. Now, my idea is this: that this reading taste may be developed by the reading of a number of the best books in various lines. I have decided upon an experiment wherein a list of fifty books shall be furnished by you and a serious attempt made by the young lady to read them. When she has completed this reading I shall ask her to make a thoroughly frank statement as to whether a reading habit has been cultivated which will enable her to enjoy good literature. I would appreciate very much your furnishing me a list of fifty of the very best books which you consider suitable for the experiment which I have in mind. The lady in question has read but little, but has completed the regulation high school course and in addition has taken two years at one of the recognized girls' schools of the country."

Obviously, the making of such a list involves a responsibility which we do not care to assume. We do not like to risk the possibility that our own particular literary prejudices might rear a barrier between two fond hearts. After all, as somebody has said, fond hearts are more than Conrads. However, we do venture the suggestion that if the young man's intentions are honorable, fifty books is far too great a number for the experiment which he has in mind. We have known many a young couple to begin life with no possession to their name but a common fondness for the poems of W. E. Henley. We have known others to marry on Kipling and repent on Shaw.

Of course, it would be a great deal easier for us to advise the young man if we knew just what sort of a wife he wanted. If she likes Dombey and Son and Little Dorrit it seems to us fair to assume that she will be able to do a little plain mending and some of the cooking. On the other hand, if her favorite author is May Sinclair, we rather think it would be well to be prepared to provide hired help from the beginning. Should she prefer Eleanor H. Porter, we think there would be no danger in telling the paperhangers to do the bedroom in pink. After all, if she is a thoroughgoing follower of Pollyanna and the glad game, you don't really need any wall paper at all. It would still be her duty to be glad about it.

But we are afraid that some of this is frivolous and beside the point, and we assume that the young man truly wants serious advice to help him in the solution of his problem. Since marriage is at best a gamble, we advise him earnestly not to compromise his ardor with any dreary round of fifty books. Let him chance all on a single volume. And what shall it be? Personally, we have always been strongly attracted by persons who liked Joan and Peter, but we know that there are excellent wives and mothers who find this particular novel of Wells's dreary stuff. There are certain dislikes which might well serve as green signals of caution. A young man, we think, should certainly go slow if she does not like An Inland Voyage, or Virginibus Puerisque, or The Ebb Tide or Sentimental Tommy. He should take thought and ask himself repeatedly, "Is this really love?" if she confesses a distaste for Tono Bungay, or Far from the Madding Crowd, or Cæsar and Cleopatra. And if she can find no interest in Conrad in Quest of His Youth, or Mary Olivier or Huckleberry Finn, let him by all means stipulate a long engagement. But if she dislikes Alice in Wonderland let the young man temporize no more. It is then his plain duty to tell her that he has made a mistake and that what he took for love was no more than the passing infatuation of physical passion.

(The end)
Heywood Broun's essay: Library Of A Lover

If you like this book please share to your friends :

A Bolt From The Blue A Bolt From The Blue

A Bolt From The Blue
JOHN ROACH STRATON died and went to his appointed kingdom where he immediately sought an audience with the ruler of the realm. "Let New York be destroyed," shouted Dr. Straton as he pushed his way into the inner room. The king was engaged at the moment in watching a sparrow fall to earth and motioned the visitor to compose himself in silence, but there was an urgency in the voice and manner of the man from earth which would not be denied. "Smite them hip and thigh," said Dr. Straton and the king looked down at him and asked, "Is the

Death Says It Isn't So Death Says It Isn't So

Death Says It Isn't So
THE scene is a sickroom. It is probably in a hospital, for the walls are plain and all the corners are eliminated in that peculiar circular construction which is supposed to annoy germs. The shades are down and the room is almost dark. A doctor who has been examining the sick man turns to go. The nurse at his side looks at him questioningly. THE DOCTOR (briskly)--I don't believe he'll last out the day. If he wakes or seems unusually restless, let me know. There's nothing to do. He goes out quietly, but quickly, for there is another man down at