HAVING recommended reading as one of the most important employments of the young, we now give some suggestions in regard to how to read.

Never read in a hurry, nor for the purpose of going over many books. Keep the undivided attention on the subject considered, and read slowly enough to comprehend the meaning. When you meet with words of which you do not know the definition, do not think it too much trouble to turn to the dictionary. It will be time well spent; you should, however, do this with the firm resolution never to be under the necessity of looking for one word the second time, but to fix it in the memory the first time found.

After a sentence or paragraph has been read, look away from the page and review the thought contained, either mentally or by expressing aloud the substance of it, in your own language. After a page or chapter has been thus read, pause to see if you have the general idea all in your mind and in order. This will be no waste of time; for by these efforts the memory is strengthened, and what you have read is made your own, as permanent knowledge, instead of being soon forgotten. To read to forget is a waste, both of time and of mental strength.

Do not feel that the course recommended will be too taxing. It simply requires patience and perseverance for a time; but when the habit is thoroughly established, all seems comparatively easy. You will thus have strengthened the powers of attention and memory, which will be an invaluable preparation for school study, as well as for profitable home reading. And while this careful practice takes more time at first, it will repay you a hundred-fold in a few years.

After a time, it will not be necessary to pause for review at the end of every sentence or paragraph, but, if carefully read, the contents of pages will be found traced in the faithful memory; and in history, if not too much condensed, a whole chapter can be made your own by a single reading. 

Still, it is best, at the end of each chapter, to pause and review while it is fresh in the mind, so as to fix it permanently in the memory.

It is very important in reading, especially in reading history, to write out an abstract or summary of the principal facts, in some systematic order, and preserve it for future reference. When the book has been read through, see that you are able to recall a complete, general idea of the whole, by the aid of the notes. If this cannot be done, review parts not clearly retained in the mind, and make the whole your own before passing to other reading. 

This method, faithfully pursued, will make reading a success, and, as it should be, a fruitful source of knowledge.


DELIBERATE with caution, but act with decision; 

and yield with graciousness, or oppose with firmness.