The Libraries of Famous Men: Louis L’Amour - "education is available to anyone within reach of a library...


The Libraries of Famous Men: Louis L’Amour - "education is available to anyone within reach of a library"

As a reader, L’Amour’s only match may have been Theodore Roosevelt himself. The Western writer had a library of over 10,000 books, and averaged reading 100-120 books per year — “reading approximately thirty books a year on the West in its many aspects” both for pleasure and in order to stay on top of his writing game.

Reading is your education:

Even though Louis didn’t graduate high school, and his only college degrees came much later in life in the honorary form, he received quite an education, entirely of his own doing. He realized that to be successful, he would need to be educated, and that college was not in his cards. So he pursued an autodidactic curriculum of his own volition:

“The idea of education has been so tied to schools, universities, and professors that many assume there is no other way, but education is available to anyone within reach of a library.”

Reading should expand your worldview and open you up to new ideas. It can and should provide frameworks and the basic foundation of a life well lived. That is why Louis credits books with saving his life — without them he would have been a permanent vagabond, perhaps dying too young in a work accident or a street fight (as many acquaintances of his did).

You have time to read. Make time to read:

“Often I hear people say they do not have time to read. That’s absolute nonsense. In the one year during which I kept that kind of record, I read twenty-five books while waiting for people. In offices, applying for jobs, waiting to see a dentist, waiting in a restaurant for friends, many such places. I read on buses, trains, and planes. If one really wants to learn, one has to decide what is important. Spending an evening on the town? Attending a ball game? Or learning something that can be with you your life long?”

Read more about his tips on reading and also see a partial list of some his reads at

Louis L'Amour's Library and Reading List | Art of Manliness


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