Headed by the aspiring title, "For Recreation Read The Best", a Nation article advocates the complete and utter demolishment of what is known in publishing parlance as summer fiction. The writer very wisely points out that vacation time is just exactly when one has the most leisure and inclination to read those books which in the buster winter time have been negiected. New books are not necessarily the best says the magazine--not a thought of much startling originality but nevertheless one which bears repetition.
But what should they choose whose winter has been spent in reading what is more or less old and classic? When January has been devoted to Spinoza or January has been devoted to Spinoza or Jonson what is the fate of July? In other words--should the college man read during vacation and if so, what? A dull rumbining noise will signify in many cases that benign tutors have been careful in tending to the matter and that there will be no radical change, for one should in theory be able to derive as much information from Aristotie when the temperature is at 90 as when it records a modest 50. The mind is what one makes it--if one is so minded.
The proportion of men who are held directly responsible for summer tutorial reading is comparatively small. The cases in which the reading is optional are, on the other hand, very large. Few Libraries are as accessible and as adequate as Widener Library; consequently the books assigned are in the majority of cases not quite so archaic as manuscripts or so involved as law briefs. It is not overstating the case to say that the reading periods as instituted next year-will have a very definite reaction on the work done in summer vacations. At present the average man feels that reading done independently and without coercion is very fine but it has little to do with his scholastic success in college. He must eventually learn, however, that reading with or without an incentive is seldom quite barren of results. Even in August an afternoon spent looking at a book must leave some impression on the mind, the exact permancy being determined by the book which gives and the mind which receives the impression. Therefore the slogan "For Recreation Read The Best" is, in spite of its being a slogan, sound advice.
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