Nursery Books or Instruction?

From a great letter by James W. Alexander (1804-1859) on American Vision:

It makes me sorry to see that you read so much in mere story-books. Some of these, indeed, are useful, and they are liked by all young people. But most of them are foolish, if not injurious. Boys often become so fond of this sort of reading that they never look into anything but tales, stories and novels. And in this way they weaken their minds, and lose all the advantage they might gain from books of instruction.

Now, if you did but think about it—you would find out that there are works which are highly entertaining, at the same time that they are profitable. I mean books of history, voyages and travels, biography, natural history, and philosophy. If you were once to taste the pleasantness of these, you would soon throw away your story-books, which are mostly fit for the nursery.

Read the whole thing for how Alexander fleshes this out from 150 years ago.

(HT: Hermonta Godwin)


About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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