The individual can be sordid and sensual in the cultivation of his reading habits. The average person of the common workaday life too frequently turns to the kind of reading which affords only recreation and an opportunity to pass an idle moment which in itself is very well enough if all of the reading which one does is not of that kind. Good reading does not necessarily confine itself to the heavy uninteresting type of essay or literature which only the few care to peruse, but it does involve more than the ordinary subject matter such as is found in average short story magazines of the present day. The person who has never taught himself to hunt out, or con over the books of some of the mighty masters of fiction with their galaxy of robust old speech, and words and philosophy that men have come to venerate and love so much that now they are called classic, then has that individual done his mind and himself a grave injustice. He has denied himself the opportunity to cultivate his mind by the infiltration of rare thoughts, and to harvest the luscious vintage of fine old speech and bottled sunshine from the vineyards of fiction by the world's fine masters of literature.
Turn the average youth loose in a room with a copy of "Snappy Stories" along with a few volumes by Washington Irving, Dumas, Dickens, Hardy, Maupassant, and ten to one he will take "Snappy Stories," not so much because he has never learned the difference but because it is the way of the times; he has been bred up to it by his environment. Yet after he has finished this kind of reading he has nothing to show for his time or reading and concentration, his mind merely becomes a sieve, a funnel where everything is poured in and passed out, and nothing retained. Like a field to which nothing is returned after the crop is harvested, so the mind becomes an empty barren place, productive of no vintage, a place despised of men. --PURDUE EXPONENT