100 of 114 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2008
So to start, there is a huge problem with this page. If you utilize Amazon's Search Inside feature for this version of the book it is actually showing you the inside of a different copy of Poor Richards Almanack. What you see is definitely not the inside of this book and I'll tell you why later.
Another problem with this page is the fact that people are reviewing the content of Poor Richards Almanack and giving you, the consumer, a history lesson on the book. But come on... the content of the book is pretty much a given. If you're not familiar with the Poor Richards Alamanack, then it's probably a good idea to check it out from a library before you buy it. You would want to own a copy simply for novelty's sake.
So onto the review of the actual product... This is a very poor copy in terms of quality (just like this review). This is just speculation, but it literally appears as if someone from the publisher went to the copy machine with an original copy of the book, pressed the "Enlarge 150%" button, photocopied the entire original book onto larger paper, bound it, put a cover on it, and sold it as the copy you see here. The black space you see on the cover is about the size of the margins within the book. This creates an obnoxious amount of white space around the paragraphs which in turn makes the book difficult to read. On top of this, some of the pages are slightly crooked.
So as I've stated, the content is exactly like the original, but you can easily find a better version than this one. Unless the book was intended for people with impaired vision, there is no reason the original book should have been blown up and placed on 2 inch margins. I would steer clear of this version and find a better one.
As a side note, there are several versions of Poor Richards Almanack. Some have his quotes reorganized into categories and some versions have his quotes re-written into more modern language. And there is, of course, the original. For Christmas, I got my Mom the original as well as the one with the organized quotes. So I guess it's whatever your preference is.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2001
A wonderful book of sayings that espouse Ben Franklin's views on life. In general, he was an advocate of honesty, hard work, moderation in all indulgences, and being a good person. While these may sound like simple principles, the wittiness and cleverness with which they are presented make them memorable and therefore useful.
Buy two copies of this book -- one for yourself and one for your child when they reach their teenage years. You'll both be better off. My copy is marked up so I can easily find my favorite sayings, and I find myself flipping through it often.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Franklin's timeless compilation of whit and wisdom is truly a classic. The book contains some of the most interesting and impressive collection of comments that Franklin was able to put in this compendium. While many are ascribed to Franklin, he specifically does not take credit for the adages himself. Rather, he indicates that they are commonly utilized comments and expressions of the vernacular.
The individual enticements cover all areas of thought and society. He was able to capture these moments of brilliance and publish them so that they are available for all time. Such common phrases and expressions are recognizable to most readers. When Franklin says, "You can bear your own Faults, and why not a Fault in your Wife?" the reader sees these as aphorisms that are applicable as well in 2006 as they were when he published them back in the 18th Century.
While Franklin may not have penned all these witticisms personally, he surely did massage them through his brilliant mind. Such comments as "Time is an herb that cures all diseases" and "Better slip with Foot than Tongue" are metaphors that all could have come up with, but Franklin was the one who wrote them down for all time. In fact, the reader can open virtually any page in the book and find something that is applicable to whatever situation is at hand.
The book is an essential part of all reader's libraries. It is recommended for every and all serious readers.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2003
Franklin is the American Merlin. He is scientist, sage, and savant. This book is a collocation of his proverbs from "Poor Richard's Almanac." It reads like a typical quote book, but it goes deeper. Franklin has wisdom tempered with humor and a gift for coining gold phrases. I recommend it for any fan of Covey's "Seven Habits" or Allen's "As A Man Thinketh." You return to the ancient virtues that made those ancient so interesting.
One of the gems in this books is the list of Franklins personal virtues. Both Steven Covey and Hyrum M. Smith of Franklin Planners based their research in this plan for perfection. Get your children inculcated with these virtues of an authentic genius and patriot. They and we need all the help we can get.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2003
This one is a keeper for anyone who likes to be reminded of the good advice this little book gives. As a man in my mid-thirties, I appreciate this book-of-quotes a great deal. If only I would have followed the advice given in this book when I was a young lad! I would be much better off by now to say the least.
If you are a teen or have children that are teens, this book is full of time-tested wisdom that is based on life-experience, and a pragmatic point of view. It is a good tool for use in developing character and is a great source of direction for young and old--if truly applied that is.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
In 1733 Benjamin Franklin released the first Poor Richard's Almanac. He was by no means famous when it appeared. Another twenty years would pass before his electrical experiments brought him worldwide attention. But some Philadelphians knew Franklin as a dedicated printer and public servant. Regardless, Franklin needed a marketing gimmick to gain a percentage of the crowded almanac market. This bold trick involved his main competitor, Titan Leeds. On the inside cover Franklin (writing as "Richard Saunders" or "Poor Richard") predicted Leed's death in October of that same year. It worked. The "scandal" spread throughout Philadelphia and sales of "Poor Richard's Almanack" skyrocketed. Leeds did not die, of course, as predicted but Franklin (Saunders) hilariously stood his ground in future issues.
This very slim volume, reproduced to scale, also contains some of Franklin's best known sayings. "Eat to live, and not live to eat" lies buried in the grid for the month of May. Dozens more phrases peek out from the text, including "He's a Fool that makes his Doctor his Heir", "Hunger never saw bad bread", "Beware of meat twice boil'd & an old foe reconcil'd", "He that lies down with dogs, shall rise up with fleas". Of course Franklin didn't pen many of these phrases, but he cleverly aligned them for his own purpose.
A lot of history sits in these fourteen pages. Vestiges of astronomy and 18th century thought fill up each page. This almanac served many purposes. Its pages list the year's eclipses, court schedules, Quaker meetings, planetary motions, and "A Chronology of Things Remarkable". Another page lists the distance between towns. Franklin also included a list of kings (listing Saunders as "an American Prince, without Subjects, his Wife being Viceroy over him"). Entertainment was also on the menu.
With this volume Franklin's true fame begins. Though Poor Richard didn't outsell all other almanacs at the time, it maintained a special status with its audience. Franklin retired Saunders in 1758. He had quit the printing business years before and, thanks to his illustrious reputation, dragged into politics. As Poor Richard faded Franklin entered the world stage. His life then followed the progression of the American Revolution.
This small pamphlet demonstrates Franklin's timelessness. His publicity stunts and pithy sayings still resonate today. Franklin helped create America, and Poor Richard marks just one phase of his fascinating life. Surprisingly, only a single copy of the original 1733 almanac survived (according to the incredible Franklin Tercentenary exhibit which displayed the rare specimen). This reproduction faithfully presents Franklin's first almanac as printed by him. Fans of Benjamin Franklin or American history buffs should definitely pick one up.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2010
This is the first item I've ever returned to Amazon, out of hundreds of items we've purchased here. To be clear, I'm talking about the softcover "Poor Richard's Almanack" published in "print on demand" format by General Books ([...]
Apparently the contents were scanned by an optical character reader, and clearly no human bothered to look at the resulting text, as the pages are filled with typographical errors and odd layout. I'm not talking about the differences between Colonial English and modern American English, I'm talking about incorrect substitutions of "d" for "c," multiple words run together without spaces, etc. This is inexcusable.
The uncredited introduction was apparently written by someone whose first language is not English, and parts of it are practically indecipherable. Not so important if you're reading for the B. Franklin content, but again, inexcusable.
This "book" is only about 1/8" thick, and that includes five blank pages at the back. The type is 10 point Times, which is very small for anyone who has difficulty reading small print. Although printed with the "print on demand" process, the soft cover and interior pages are good quality.
This might be worthwhile if you picked it up for $1 or $2 at a rummage sale, but otherwise you may wish to find a more usable version of "Poor Richard's Almanack."
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2000
Dover thrift books are cheap and easy to take anywhere. I would not recommend them for scholarly work in the least. But, they are good for a leisurely read.
The Wit and Wisdom is a collection of aphorisms taken from the the pages of the almanack. In terms of background information, there is some (minimal) biographical information about Benjamin Franklin and even less information on the almanack.
The adages are aranged by general subject. Some of the aphorisms will seem familiar since a couple are repeated in the book under different subject headings.
I like that the book gives you some quick words of wisdom which can still be applicable today. It also gives one a brief glimpse of what the late 1700s thought of as important or problematic.
It is worth the dollar.
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2002
What can I say? It's Benjamin Franklin! One of our beloved American forefathers with so much wisdom, it applies to not only our fellow Americans, but to the worldly human race. This compilation is full of tidbits from his "Poor Richard's Almanac" columns written for the hungry wisdom and logical seeking people back in early America. This is a timeless collection of suggestions and instructions that make perfect SENSE. Buy this and learn about YOUR life and how to make life better for not only yourself, but the others around you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2006
Poor Richard Ain't Poor no More
Benjamin Franklin has put together a masterpiece of self developing ideas and proverbs for the intellectual and the simpleton. For the mentally constipated and the indecisive. You too may think what can I learn from a dead man whose been dead for over 216 years? I'll answer that one for you...You can learn a lot! "Though he be dead yet does he still speak". All I can say is you too might be surprised at how many errors you could have avoided if you only had these thoughts by one of America's pivatol forefathers of our great country.
How often have you wanted to develop clarity of thought? To be able to look through muddy waters filled with ideas and still see clearly. Have you ever put a dollar amount on sound mind and maybe just what it's probably cost you in worry? Well here's your chance to de-weed your ideas and make your mind-garden grow. Every page of this wonderful book is full of rich parallels, clear contrast and productive concepts.
I wouldn't tell you this book is valuable if it were not. It's one of the most highly read books since the Bible and after reading it one time you'll take a look at your calendar to mark-off when you'll read it again. I know I have. Here's a few great ideas from the book...
"Most People return small Favours, acknowledge middling ones, and repay great ones with Ingratitude."
"He that scatters thorns, let him not go barefoot"
"He that lieth down with dogs, shall rise up with fleas"
"Cheese and salt meat should be sparinigly eat"
"Pay what you owe and you'll know what is your own"
These are some of Benjamin Franklins compulations of great thoughts and wonderful ideas to meditate upon. I think I've found one of the few gems of Franklin and now know why he was such a great scientist, inventor, publisher, advertising man, marketer, diplomat, teacher, advocate against slavery and framer of the constitution. You'll enjoy the book and if you don't send me your copy and I'll buy it off of you.