Advice to readers
One of the most useful things a teacher can do is to help beginners to the right books. There is no use, but much weary, useless toil, in reading of the wrong books. Every scholar knows the fearful count of hours spent in looking through foolish books in the hope of finding something pertinent. All books about books, and the miserable compilations made at second-hand by second-rate men, should be avoided. Read Adam Smith himself; it will take a little time. Don’t be persuaded to use an „analysis“ or „epitome“ of Adam Smith instead, it is only waste of time. … Never be afraid of big books by big men. One can remember and assimilate them far better and easier than any analysis.
York Powell, Professor of Mediaeval and Modern History in the University of Oxford, 1901.