The English Department requires summer reading for Forms III and IV. For students entering Forms V and VI, we appeal to good sense when we suggest that a summer spent without good reading is a summer partly wasted. Summers out of school provide leisure time to read that later years too often deny. Too much genius and beauty reside in the literature of this age and of past ages to be left unread and unemployed.
Any lover of books scanning any short reading list will be astonished at the breadth of its omissions and the eccentricity of its selections. To defend the lists of suggested readings, we can only state our principles of inclusion and ask pardon for sins of omission and commission. Our principles are these: The books must stand a good chance of surviving an encounter with the tastes of today's students; the list must offer enough variety to serve the broad-minded and the eclectic; and finally, the books must have generally recognized merit.
These books are set forth in the hope that all students will find them stimulating and enjoyable, that students will through even casual reading, draw closer to a sense of place, of time, of history, of balance, closer to the life of the imagination. We require no set number. “The more the better” seems a sound enough principle.