This week at Trinity, 100 years ago

   Posted by: rring   in Uncategorized

November 22, 1910


“To the Editor of the Tripod:  Permit me to take exception, both personally and as representing a large class of undergraduates, to your editorial in last Friday’s issue.  You complain that the Library is overcrowded with desultory readers, and that the serious work of others is thereby hampered. 

Dr. Luther, in a talk to the freshman two years ago, hailed with approval the return of the genus “browser.”  I wish I could quote his enthusiastic words on discovering that a long lost species had reappeared.  But there are even stronger arguments than the mention of authorities.

First of all, only a small percentage of the books in the Library are used for reference in the various courses.  The same is true of the magazines.  The college spends hundreds of dollars annually in the purchase of volumes to which no professor refers his classes.  A set of Mark Twain’s complete writings, added shortly after his death, was certainly intended for the man whom the Tripod decries.  This is only an example, to which I might add a whole catalogue.

Secondly, there are certain peculiar advantages in the “browsing” habit, among which I may cite the broad view of the literary field thus obtainable.  To roam along the west gallery, selecting a book here and there to read a random chapter, or perhaps only the table of contents, is a practice easily comparable in value to that of boning out dry references in Logic.  The use of the alcoves by “browsers” is also to be commended for a similar general knowledge in a restricted field.”  –ONE OF THEM

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