Theodore Roosevelt Virtual Exhibit

A Book-lover’s Holidays in the Open

Cover: A Book Lover's Holidays in the Open
Book Cover
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Another of Roosevelt’s outdoor sporting books, this was also published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, his publisher for several years. The book includes chapters describing hunts in Africa, South America, the Grand Canyon and Louisiana. An interesting chapter for readers is his “Books for Holidays in the Open.” In this chapter he says that when he is asked what books one should take on outdoor holidays, he answers that, with due regard for bulk and weight in traveling bags, one should read what one reads at home! And what does one read at home? A great variety of literature and history from Shakespeare and Dickens to Tolstoy, of whom TR says “he is an interesting and stimulating writer, but an exceedingly unsafe moral adviser.” He also recommends Twain, Owen Wister, Kenneth Grahame, and many others. Interestingly, he says that because there is “enough of horror and … sordid squalor in real life … when I turn to the world of literature … I do not care to study suffering.”

Last Updated: June 17, 2009