Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Quote du jour/Samuel Johnson


A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

27 comments:

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    1. I first learned about him in college when we read Boswell's Life of Johnson, and have been enthralled by him ever since.

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    1. Thanks, and the same to you. We are having homemade pizza for our MG supper. :<)

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  3. That's why I keep an Agatha Christie (or the equivalent) going whenever I'm reading non-fiction .. or even a classic that I want to read or re-read. When I feel like I'm forcing myself to read, I switch to my good old mystery for a while.

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    1. What a great, great idea. I've read some nonfiction that holds my interest just as much as fiction.

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  4. Nan, I love this quote. Johnson was brought up in Lichfield (where his father was a bookseller), seven miles from Tamworth, where I live. Every year, on his birthday there is an open-air service by his statue, in the market square, with the Mayor and Town Crier and VIPs. And there is also a Birthday Supper in the Guildhall to honour him - when I worked on the local paper there I was invited a couple of times, and we all got given a clay pipe at the end of the evening.

    The house where he lived is now the Johnson Birthplace Museum, and is fascinating - lots of information and displays about him (including the kitchen and writing stuff) and all the floors in all the rooms slope away at crazy angles. Nothing is straight! You would love it. It is practically next door to the Oxfam bookshop where I volunteer, and I have pictures somewhere I took last time I went round. It's time for another visit, so I'll take some more photos and post them on the blog over the next week or so.

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    1. I so look forward to your post! When we were there, we saw a road sign for Lichfield and headed that way hoping to see the great man's birthplace. Well, somehow there were two Lichfields. Is that possible? Could one have been spelled with a t? I asked Tom this morning and he remembers it the same way. But when I searched there was just the one. I'm completely mystified. :<) The bottom line is that we never got there.

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    2. As far as I am aware there is only one Lichfield in the UK, and no Litchfield, but the signposting is not good, and it's easy to get lost. It's a real shame you missed out, because you would have really appreciated it.

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    3. I begin to think we made it all up :<) but I know we didn't. It was in a whole other part of the country -that I do recall. Just from watching British television, I can see how it is easy to get lost. There are always a million little side roads off a main road, the entrances often hidden by trees. I think the first time I saw this was in the Avengers all those years ago.

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  5. This is something to abide by in my opinion. I'm enjoying more non-fiction this year and just going where it takes me. Currently enjoying All in One Basket by Debo Devonshire, which is her two chicken books in one volume. It's just lovely.

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    1. You are having such a fun reading year, Cath, and writing about it so wonderfully. Your joy comes right through your postings!

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  6. Ooooh, I like it! Especially since I tend to be a bit of a gadfly when it comes to book selections.

    Hapy Mardi Gras!

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  7. I am most grateful that my son loves to read, although I think that all the books that he had to read at school could have turned him off books forever!

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    1. I have one child who reads, and the other doesn't. Go figure. :<)

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  8. PS I've had trouble for ages trying to comment on your blog but now find I can do it by pretending to be on Blogger.

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    1. You don't suppose it has anything to do with me getting rid of that word verification, do you??

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    2. No, it's happened on all Blogger sites! It's all to do with changes to Google accounts, I think.

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    3. And more is coming next month, perhaps, with the privacy changes thing. We'll see.

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  9. I love Johnson Nan...he is so easy to live with.
    I don't know if you've seen it yet but there is a book by Anna Buchan/O.Douglas on Project Gutenberg Canada..it's called "Unforgettable, Unforgotton"
    I'd give you the link to it but their server seems to be down as I type, it's listed under Anna Buchan if it takes your fancy :0)

    "TO MY GENTLE READERS

    You who read so faithfully my books may, perhaps, be interested in this family chronicle.

    It was written in an effort to lighten dark days by remembering happier ones.

    My brother John used to say that when he wrote stories he invented, but that I in my books was always remembering.

    Here in this chronicle is the fount of all my memories.

    ANNA BUCHAN.
    (O. Douglas.)"

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    1. Oh, thank you for this! I found a HC old copy at amazon that I may just buy.

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  10. Wonderful quote! That's how I used to feel with all the review copies!!

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    1. I can imagine. That would be too much like school for me. :<)

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