THERE is all the difference in the world between reading with your feet up and reading with your feet down, between reading in a hammock and reading at an editorial desk. Once I am in a nearly horizontal position surrounded with quiet and insulated from interruption. i will extract from the printed word a substance and delight seldom attainable in traffic. This is why all editors do their decisive reading at home; this is, in fact, the best justification for that perfect luxury, reading in bed. Yet I know of only one publisher with a chaise longue in his office.
The conductor of these columns is about to close up shop for a brief vacation. He means to take with him more books than could comfortably be read in the fortnight, but this is deliberate, for he loves to tempt his appetite. For early morning, acquisitive reading he will have the proof sheets of Japan over Asia, by William Henry Chamberlin. For that post-prandial hour which Tennyson regarded as the peak of the day he will have The Seven Who Fled. by Frederic Prokosch, a book which has a flight of imagination and a beauty of words rare in any season. Harpers should be and doubtlessly are — offering thanks for this romantic prize novelist. (I shall have more to say about Prokosch in November.) For that relaxation which comes after salt water and exercise he will be tempted with the theatrical And So— Victoria, by Vaughan Wilkins. For evening adventure he will turn to history; he will read the limited edition of Northwest Passage, by Kenneth Roberts, with its maps and documents, and as he peoples his dreams try to decide which half of the story he likes best. And for reading aloud, what could be more perfect than Life with Mother, by Clarence Day?