Orwell states that the essay was triggered by the experience of an editor friend who was firewatching during the Second World War. He was told by factory workers that they had no interest in literature because they could not afford books.

The essay first appeared in Tribune on February 8, 1946.

Argument edit

Orwell questions the idea that buying or reading a book is an expensive hobby. Working out that he had 442 books in his flat and an equivalent number elsewhere, he allocates a range of prices, depending on whether the books were bought new, given, provided for review purposes, borrowed or loaned. Averaging the cost over his lifetime, and adding other incidental reading costs, he estimates his annual expenditure at 25.

In contrast, Orwell works out that before the war he was spending 20 a year on beer and tobacco and that he currently spends 40 per year on tobacco. He works out the national average spent on beer and tobacco to be 40 a year. Noting that it is difficult to establish a relationship between the price of different types of books and the value derived from them, Orwell works out that if books are read simply recreationally, the cost per hour is less than the cost of a cinema seat. Therefore, reading is one of the cheapest recreations.

Excerpts edit

And if our book consumption remains as low as it has been, at least let us admit that it is because reading is a less exciting pastime than going to the dogs, the pictures or the pub, and not because books, whether bought or borrowed, are too expensive.

Reactions edit

Orwell’s essays in Tribune, including this, have been described in The Independent as some of the greatest essays in the English language. 1 The question Orwell raised continues to provide a basis for discussion, as in a review of a poll in which one in four Americans read no books at all in 2007 2 and that chief executives claim that they have no time to read literature. 3

The essay was the subject of an update by Structo Magazine who published “Books v. Cigarettes 63 years on”.

See also edit

  • Aliteracy
  • Bibliography of George Orwell

References edit

What’s in cigarette smoke? – oxygen

Г’ГҐГЄГ±ГІ ГЇГҐГ±Г­ГЁ adam brand – cigarettes & whiskey ïåðåâîä, ñëîâà, lyrics

Feeling confused? There is a difference between &#39 what&#39 s in cigarettes&#39 and &#39 what&#39 s in cigarette smoke&#39 . The bulk of chemicals and poisons found in cigarette smoke is a direct result from burning the tobacco in its natural form. However the tobacco industry also adds chemicals and poisons to the tobacco during its manufacture for a range of purposes.

The purposes of additives are to

  • improve the manufacturing of tobacco products eg. chemicals are added to make tobacco less brittle
  • increase the shelf life
  • control the rate the tobacco burns
  • speed up the delivery of nicotine to the brain
  • improve the flavour and reduce the harsh taste

In Australia, since 2000 there has been a voluntary agreement between the Federal Government and the tobacco industry on the disclosure of the ingredients of Australian cigarettes. This means the tobacco industry don&#39 t have to disclose all of the ingredients in their products. Therefore it is impossible to know all of the ingredients that are used in each brand or the levels at which they are added.

Watch these YouTube clips to see what is really in cigarette smoke.