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To any reader, young or old, scholar or layman,
I would say one thing:
No great book was ever written to be lectured on or explained in schools.
Every masterpiece was first written for the use of (human beings).

Don't be frightened by famous names.
Don't think that famous books are dull.
They wouldn't be famous now if they hadn't interested their first readers.

Get yourself a comfortable chair and a good light
---and have confidence in your own mind.

John Erskine, February 28, 1937 Columbia University

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