Where you really need a great book

It’s no small mercy that one of life’s most elevated human undertakings can occur during one of its most humbling. Yes, I’m talking about reading on the john. Stop blushing. You know you do it. Everyone does—especially if you’re a parent. I only wonder if we’re maximizing the experience. Facebook or a hastily snatched magazine… Continue reading Where you really need a great book

The value of culture

Culture is continuity with the past: A cultureless person knows only about, and lives exclusively in, the present. Few things are as pleasing—thrilling, really—as reading a classical author and discovering that he has had thoughts and emotions akin to your own. So I have felt, at times, reading Horace, Montaigne, William Hazlitt, and others who departed the planet centuries before my entrance upon it. . . [B]y removing oneself from the noise and vulgarities of the present, and lending oneself the perspective of the past, an engagement with high culture makes life richer—and thereby immensely more interesting.

Joseph Epstein