Sunday, March 18, 2007

You could never persuade her to read half so much as you wished

"Emma has been meaning to read more ever since she was twelve years old. I have seen a great many lists of the drawing-up, at various times, of books that she meant to read regularly through--and very good lists they were, very well chosen, and very neatly arranged--sometimes alphabetically, and sometimes by some other rule. The list she drew up when only fourteen--I remember thinking it did her judgment so much credit, that I preserved it some time, and I dare say she may have made out a very good list now. But I have done with expecting any course of steady reading from Emma. She will never submit to anything requiring industry and patience, and a subjection of the fancy to the understanding. Where Miss Taylor failed to stimulate, I may safely affirm that Harriet Smith will do nothing. You never could persuade her to read half so much as you wished. You know you could not."

--Jane Austen, Emma


  1. Anonymous7:51 PM

    Ya, I love that part. I am soooo Emma.

  2. (I am trying so hard to convince my son he wants to read this book.)

  3. This is a very memorable passage. I believe we all learn at our own pace, and drawing from random titles to create a list that fits my year seems to be the best way for me. I try to apply myself to it with discipline, but alas I get distracted with other books that scream for me to read them. Cheers.


"I don't believe in ghosts, but I see them all the time."

Sherman Alexie cancels book tour for memoir about his mother.