Index Rerum, Or Index of Subjects: Intended as a Manual to Aid the Student and the Professional Man in Preparing Himself for Usefulness ; with an Introduction Illustrating Its Utility and Method of Use

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S.E. Bridgman and Company, 1883 - Self-culture
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Page 4 - I say the same thing to you with regard to knowledge. However useless it may appear to you at the moment, seize upon all that is fairly within your reach. For there is not a fact within the whole circle of human observation, nor even a fugitive anecdote that you read in a newspaper or hear in conversation, that will not come in play some time or other...
Page 4 - Old-fashioned economists will tell you never to pass an old nail, or an old horse-shoe, or buckle, or even a pin, without taking it up ; because, although you may not want it now, you will find a use for it some time or other. I say the same thing to you with regard to knowledge. However useless it may appear to you at the moment, seize upon all that is fairly within your reach. For there is not a fact within the whole circle of human observation, nor even a fugitive anecdote that you read in a newspaper,...
Page 4 - I have seen multitudes of such books commenced, and have seen but few which were not abandoned at an early hour." Every one is aware that we frequently want the thoughts or the materials of thought with which we have met in books which we have read, but which, though now sought after in every corner of the memory, are not to be found. Their faint impressions are seen dimly, like the ghosts of Ossian, but too distant and too undefined to be of any use.
Page 4 - Few are aware, unless they have bestowed particular thought on the subject, how much of all our valuable reading is lost, because we retain only faint impressions of it, and have no method of recalling it.
Page 6 - You will find the index ruled with blue ink, with a wide margin on the left hand of each page. The margin is to contain the word selected as a guide to the subject noted down. On the corners of the page you will find the letters of the alphabet (capitals), and in the centre the first five vowels, a, e, i, o, u. Each letter of the alphabet has two pages to each of the vowels, and of course each letter has ten pages.
Page 4 - Let a young man when he begins life," Dr. Todd advised, "be in the habit of making an index of all that he reads which is truly valuable (and he ought to read nothing else), and at the age of thirty-five or forty he has something of his own and which no price can purchase.
Page 5 - ... within the whole circle of human observation, nor even a fugitive anecdote that you read in a newspaper, or hear in conversation, that will not come in play some time or other. And occasions will arise when they will involuntarily present their dim shadows in the train of your thinking and reasoning, as belonging to that train, and you will regret that you cannot recall them more distinctly." This is certainly a valuable thought, and a valuable opinion of a great man : it is appropriate to my...
Page 6 - ... thought worthy of preservation in the course of the widest reading. Says the author : " When you read anything which you may hereafter need, place the principal word in the margin under the first letter in the word, and the first vowel in it. I will here give some examples as they stand in my own Index. Suppose I wish to note something relating to America. I turn to A and the vowel e, because A is the first letter, and e is the first vowel, thus : — On page /!-. America
Page 5 - I cannot copy out all such valuable thoughts with which I meet ; and it is in vain to command the memory to retain them. Making extracts with the pen is so tedious that the very name of a commonplace book is associated with drudgery and wearisomeness ; but, by the index which I make out, I can preserve this or any other extract which I wish, and that readily. Some may think I have done Uttle to aid them by laying out the work of years.

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