为高兴阅读Reading for Pleasure
he first thing I want to insist on is that reading should be enjoyable. Of course, there are many books that we all have to road, either to pass examinations or to acquire information,from which it is impossible to extract enjoyment. We aro reading them for instruction, and the best we can hope is that our need for it will enable us to get through them without todium. Such books wo read with resignation rather than with alacrity. But that is not the sort of roading I have in mind. The books I shall mention in due course will help you neither to get a degree nor to earn your living, they will not teach you to sail a boat or get a stalled motor to run, but they will help you to live more fully. That, however, they cannot do unless you enjoy reading them.
Every man is his own best critic. Whatever the learned say about a book, however unanimous they are in their praise of it,unless it interests you, it is no business of yours. And you who read are the final judge of the value to you of the book you are reading. We are none of us exactly like everyone else, only rather like, and it would be unreasonable to suppose that the books that have meant a great deal to me should be precisely those that will mean a great deal to you. But they are books that I feel the richer for having read, and I think I should not be quite the man I am if I had not read them. No one is under an obligation to read poetry or fiction or the miscellaneous literature which is classed as belleslettres. He must read them for pleasure, and who can claim that what pleases one man must necessarily please another?
书的陪伴Companionship of Books
A man may usually be known by the books he reads as well as by the company he keeps: for there is a companionship of books as well as of men; and one should always live in the best company, whether it be of books or of men.
A good book may be among the best of friends. It is the same today that it always was, and it will never change. It is the most patient and cheerful of companions. It does not turn its back upon us in times of trouble or distress. It always receives us with the same kindness, amusing and instructing usin youth, and comforting us in age.
Books possess an extract having the fundamental properties of immortality. They are by far the most lasting products of human effort. Temples and statues decay, but books survive. Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh today as when they first passed through their author'sminds ages ago. The only effect of time has been to sift out the bad products, for nothing in literature can long survive but what is really good.
Books introduce us into the best society: they bring us into the presence of the greatest minds that have ever lived. We hear what they said and did. we see them as if they were really alive; we sympathize with them, enjoy with them, hurt with them; their experience becomes ours, and we feel as if we were, in a measure, actors with them in the scenes which they describe.
The great and good do not die even in this world. Embalmed in books, their spirits walk abroad. The book is a living voice. It is an intellect to which one still listens. Hence we ever remain under the influence of the great men of old. The great intellects of the world are as much alive now as they were ages ago.
书锐化我们的大脑Great Books Sharpen Our Minds
Great books are those that contain the best materials on which the human mind can work in order to gain insight,understanding, and wisdom.Each of them, in its own way,raises the recurrent basicquestions which men must face. Because these questions are never completely solved,these books are the sources and monuments of a continuing intellectual tradition.
Garl Van Doren once referred to great books as"the books that never have to be written again. "They are the rare,perfect achievements of sustained excellence. Their beauty and clarity show that they are masterpieces of the fine as well as of the liberal arts. Such books are justifiably called greatwhether they are books of science, poetry, theology, mathematics, or politics.
The richness of great books shows itself in the many levels of meaning they contain. They lend themselves to a variety of interpretations. This does not mean they are ambiguous or that their integrity is compromised. The different interpretations complement one another and allow the reader to discover the unity of the work from a variety of perspectives. We need not read other books more than once to get all that they have to say. But we can always go deeper into great books. As sources of enlightenment they are inexhaustible.
The interest in many good books that are written is limited to a definite period of history. They do not exhibit the universal appeal that results from dealing with the fundamental questions which confront men in all times and places and in a way that men in all times and places can understand. Great books, on the contrary, transcend the provincial limits of their origin. They remain as world literature. The ones we are sure are great are the ones men everywhere turn to again and again through the centuries.