"Learn to be good readers ... be discriminate in your reading ... read faithfully, and with your best attention, all kinds of thing which you have a real interest in."
These words were spoken by Thomas Carlyle's in his 1866 inaugural address upon assuming the position of rector of Edinburgh University. It serves, in a way, as the inspiration for Dr. Eliot and the creation of the Harvard Classics.
More reading, and more books, are what Carlyle calls for, and to that, every educated person can agree. In reading is the salvation of the world, for only through books can the flame of civilization continue to burn brightly. In an age where ignorance is exulted, only an educated people can halt the spread of stupidity.