Reading happens to be my hobby, too, along with peristalsis and respiration.
Like the man—the fellow with the name Solomon, writing under the pen name Ecclesiastes—said, “Of the making of many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” So many books are there in the world that no one can get round to even all the best among them, and hence no one can claim to be truly well-read. Nobody has read, or can read, everything, and by everything I include only the good, the beautiful, the important books.
I grew up in a home proudly Jewish but not in the least bookish.
I don’t believe we even had a dictionary in our apartment during the years I was growing up.
But for the road to acquiring the body of unspecialized knowledge that sometimes goes by the name of general culture, sometimes known as the pursuit of wisdom, no map, no blueprint, no plan, no shortcut exists, nor, as I hope to make plain, could it.
, which sounds a bit like Jewish, is the word I use to describe lives that are dominated by books.
I read only the sports pages in the and I read lots of comic books, including classic comic books, which were useful for giving book reports in school.
The first book that genuinely lit my fire—no surprise here, it was a sports book—was John R.
Jefferson obliged with a list of 148 titles, mostly Greek and Roman classics, and some intensely practical treatises, among them a book on horse-hoeing husbandry.
not long ago published a list of the world’s one hundred best nonfiction books in English, and while nearly every one seemed eminently worthy, one could just as easily add another hundred books that should have been on such a list, and this does not include all the world’s splendid works of fiction, drama, and poetry, and not merely in English alone.