Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Books v. Cigarettes"

George Orwell calculates the cost of a reading habit in the 1946 essay "Books v. Cigarettes":

[R]eading is one of the cheaper recreations: after listening to the radio probably the cheapest.
After reading this essay, I did some rough arithmetic and found that the cost of my Proust habit has been about 25¢ per reading hour. Cheap!

comments: 3

j said...

don't forget to add in the cost of bookcases and shelves. I'm careful about which books I buy. still, there are stacks (and I wish there were more). I'm an unrepentant stacker

Matt Thomas said...

Incidentally, "Books v. Cigarettes" is getting re-released -- with a snazzy new cover no less -- as part of the third installment of Penguin's Great Ideas series of books.

Michael Leddy said...

The shelves are long amortized, J. : )

Thanks for the link, Matt. The book is listed at Amazon UK with an August 7 publication date. I hope these Penguins show up in the States.