Like a Conquering Army THESE BOOKS have marched triumphant through the centuries (May, 1930)

Like a Conquering Army THESE BOOKS have marched triumphant through the centuries


THE LIBRARIES of the old world and the new are crammed with volumes, shelf on shelf, which a thousand men in a thousand lifetimes could never find time to read. And millions more volumes have passed forever into oblivion, not even to find shelter in the archives of public libraries.

Yet these books have come thundering down through the centuries, influencing, teaching and delighting mankind with their indomitable power. They are as new and invigorating as when their immortal authors instilled in them the breath of eternal life.

Emerson once said: “Would that some charitable soul, after losing a great deal of time among the false books, and alighting upon the few true ones which made him happy and wise, would name those which have been bridges or ships to carry him over the dark morasses and barren oceans, into sacred cities, into palaces and temples.”

It was one of the monumental achievements of America’s greatest educator, Dr. Charles W. Eliot, to bring together the truly great books, to sift the pure gold from the mass of writing the ages have produced. For forty years president of Harvard University, Dr. Eliot realized the need of a library offering everyone the culture which a university strives to give.

The Five-Foot Shelf (Harvard Classics) is the magnificent result of his inspiration and knowledge. These books are the criterion of all literary selection. Through, them people have found that the classics are not dull, but intensely stirring: not beautiful antiques, but lively, stimulating modern thought with vital application to everyday life.

In this wonderful library are the writings of 302 immortal authors.

The busy man and woman of today need not stumble through hopeless masses of reading matter, for in The Harvard Classics are the books that live forever, the books that have as proud possessors more than a quarter of a million intelligent ambitious families.

These books stand for stimulation of thought and. above all. endless enjoyment. They are the books which have won for themselves the well-deserved tribute. “A liberal education in fifteen minutes a day.”

P. F. Collier & Son Company has published good books since 1875. By the famous Collier plan, you can pay for these books while you are reading and enjoying them.

CHARLES W. ELIOT, forty years President of Harvard University, Editor of the famous Harvard Classics.

This FREE booklet The certificate is for your convenience. Before you spend another penny for books, get a copy of “Fifteen Minutes a Day”—the famous booklet that tells how to. turn wasted minutes into growth and increased power. It’s ready and waiting for you. Sending for it does not obligate you in any way.

P. F. Collier & Son Dist. Corp.,
250 Park Avenue, New York City

By mail, free, send me the booklet that tells all about the most famous library in the world, Dr. Eliot’s Five-Foot Shelf of Books (The Harvard Classics), and contains Dr. Eliot’s own plan of reading. Also, please advise how I may secure the books by small monthly payments.

  1. David says: December 7, 20111:26 am

    And today, you can put it all on a Kindle for free without breaking a sweat.

  2. Charlene says: December 7, 20111:47 am

    That is the single most idiotic simile I have ever read. “Yes, like a conquering army of the past, these books brutally butcher, rape, and enslave innocent civilians in their path, leaving famine and desolation behind.” What did these copywriters think war was?

  3. David says: December 7, 20111:52 am

    I think that they mean that they carry all before them.

  4. Charlene says: December 7, 20111:56 am

    Yes, I know that’s what they meant. I wasn’t commenting on their intentions.

  5. David says: December 7, 20111:59 am

    Surely their intentions are the point.

  6. Pardik says: December 7, 20117:37 am

    These books are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do
    one of these days these books are gonna walk all over you.

  7. tom says: December 7, 20119:33 am

    I wonder how many of these were actually read. We had “Library Classics” in the 50’s and 60’s. For the most part their leatherette and gild spines were never opened. They did fill up the built in book shelves in the renovated garage turned “family room”.

  8. JMyint says: December 7, 201111:32 am

    My wife had this set when we first started dating. I read a few of them and some I later read to my kids. Two of the volumes had stories from 1001 nights, Aesop, the brothers Grimm, and Anderson.

  9. Terry says: December 7, 20114:02 pm

    I remember in college I got talked into buying Mortimer Adler’s set of Great Books. I lugged the set with me everywhere I moved to for over 20 years, and must sheepishly admit that I never even read one of them from cover to cover.

  10. MrSatyre says: December 7, 20117:55 pm

    Charlene just dropped a load of grumpy in her pants.

  11. Hirudinea says: December 7, 20119:46 pm

    Well if anybody is interesten in not reading these books they all can be downloaded from the Internet Archive, heres the link……

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