Book of the Week: Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son by George Lorimer

I should preface this by saying that I’m quite biased towards practical, direct books. If they consist of letters and have some emotion behind them, all the better. That is all that this book is.

All of my biases aside, there’s very little to criticize, if anything at all. In all honesty, if there is something to be criticized, I’m in no position to do that as the “father figure,” that is, the protagonist, is in many ways who and what I aim to be in my life. It is chock-full of good advice about business, love and everything in between. Although the most important subject, and the central theme of the book, is nothing more than a father teaching his son to be a better man. It doesn’t get much more complicated, and it can’t get much better than that, really.

If I were to rate books based on how many notecards I write about them, this would be the clear winner of this year so far. It taught me a lot, and I’m afraid it will take me months, if not years to apply all of the advice I got from the book into my life. Enough talk for now, though, here are some of my favorite excerpts:

“Nothing comes without calling in this world, and after you’ve called you’ve got to go and fetch it yourself.”
“Never start off at a gait you can’t improve on.”
“Some men learn all they know from books; others from life; both are narrow. It’s the fellow who knows enough about practice to test his theories that gives the world a shove ahead.”
“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.
One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.