A Great Book is a Great Evil

This saying was common among the Grecians, and is true to a certain degree, in all ages of the world since the publication of books; especially of the present, which is an age characterized for the multiplicity of its book, and the sheer volume of information rather than the amount of knowledge contained in them.

The mind is so constituted that it cannot, either with profit or pleasure, dwell a long time upon one subject. It naturally seeks with eagerness something new. Hence, if we read or peruse a large volume, we soon become tired and bored at its contents, and soon throw it aside before it is finished, without having understood the purpose of the writer. Among all the long books we can find, there are few, if any, where the same idea could not be expressed in a shorter and more concise manner.

The last reason, and by no means the least important, is that time is too precious to be wasted; especially in the present age, where so many new subjects and ideas are presented that claim our attention, and overly long books distracts us from other great texts.

Beautifully restored map shows bird’s eye view of Monson, MA in 1879

This old map shows Monson, Massachusetts in the late 19th century.

Beautifully restored map of Saint Paul, Minnesota from 1888

Detailed bird’s eye view of Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1888

Beautifully restored map of Hackensack, NJ from 1896

Historic bird’s eye view of Hackensack, New Jersey in 1896

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The earliest picture of Abraham Lincoln

This daguerreotype is the earliest-known photograph of Abraham Lincoln, taken…