Shelf-Reading for Pleasure, Continued

This week I managed to accomplish one of my New Year’s resolutions: to do without an Internet connection in my dorm. The plan was one semester–I lasted five days. What did I do instead? I went to the library to find more books to read. I made a second pass through the anthology shelves–re-reading shelves is just as important as re-reading books–and proceeded to scan a long new row of shelves dealing with book-collecting, the joys of reading, bibliography, cataloged libraries of eminent thinkers, and book-collecting journals. This second expedition yielded:

(1) In Praise of Books (1901), by Ralph Waldo Emerson, with two essays by Sir John Lubbock

(2) The Pleasure of Literature and the Solace of Books (1902), by Andrew Lang

(3) The Home Library (1883), by Arthur Penn

(4) The Choice of Books, by Charles R. Richardson

The shelves that I retraced yielded:

(1) The Pleasures of Life, Complete (1894), by Sir John Lubbock

(2) The Practical Cogitator

Upon returning home, I read a great essay by Joseph Epstein in his book, Partial Payments, called “H.L. Mencken for Grown-Ups”. I call the essay great not only for its style, but also because, with new-found enthusiasm, I returned to A Mencken Chrestomathy. This diversion was inspired by listening to an interview with Mr. Epstein located here:

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