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Book 4 - Chapter 1 - The Harvard Classics: The Five-Foot Shelf of Books


Happy New Reading Year!

In the fall I had the opportunity to pick up The Harvard Classics: The Five-Foot Shelf of Books edited by Charles W. Eliot. This is a 51 volume anthology of classic works from world literature compiled and edited by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot and first published in 1909. According to Eliot, a liberal arts education could be obtained by reading 15 minutes a day from a collection of 51 books all sitting on a 5 foot shelf. A publisher, P.F. Collier & Son, challenged Eliot to the task and so the collection was born.

While I know quite a few people in my family who would love to have this collection as a gift, I decided to keep it and challenge myself to the attempt in 2020. Thank heavens that Dr. Eliot devised multiple Reading Guides on how to read these volumes otherwise I would be completely lost!

So along with all the other reading I plan to do in 2020, I am determined to take 15 minutes a day to elucidate myself with a liberal education. I'll keep you updated on how it goes, I'll be honest if I find it too hard to stick to, and I know there will be times when I will not be able to take the books with me as I travel since the reading plan goes back and forth between volumes. Wish me luck with this particular New Year's Resolution!

Have you made any reading resolutions for 2020? Please let me know!

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