Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Book-Lover's Enchiridion

Alexander Ireland - The Book-Lover's Enchiridion (1882)

Archive.org direct link
Open Library main page

"My object has been to present, in chronological order, the summed-up testimonies of the most notable Book-Lovers on the subject of Books, the the Habit and Love of Reading."  Starting with Solomon and Cicero and running up to then-current Stevenson, Andrew Lang and Austin Dobson, this book is certainly worth browsing if it sounds at all as if you'd like to browse it.  There are plenty of unfamiliar names and the majority are British, Scottish or Irish among the ones I recognize.  Still, it really is for just browsing since so many selections are about how wise reading can make you which gets a bit repetitious and is also provably not true (at least in and of itself).

The direct link is to an expanded fourth edition.  There was a fifth edition but at a quick glance it seemed much the same and this linked copy is the most readable.

Alexander Ireland (1810-1894) was a Scottish-born writer and journalist.  He wrote an early biography of Emerson and works about Hazlitt, Leigh Hunt and Scott.  He helped organize the Manchester Free Library.