On Writing and Reading

Samuel Johnson to Boswell, 1775.

“I once wrote for a magazine: I made a calculation, that if I should write but a page a day, at the same rate, I should, in ten years, write nine volumes in folio, of an ordinary size and print.” BOSWELL. “Such as Carte’s History?” JOHNSON. “Yes, Sir. When a man writes from his own mind, he writes very rapidly. The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”

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