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Poor Richard's Almanack

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  1,086 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
A collection of Ben Franklin's timeless maxims, rules, and aphorisms.
Hardcover, 77 pages
Published November 1st 1983 by Peter Pauper Press (first published December 28th 1732)
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Dannii Elle
This is a wonderful collection of Benjamin Franklin's philosophies and values, in which his writing proves concise, sound and still relatable today. The maxims this details concern a variety of topics from humility to morality. I thoroughly enjoyed the brief introduction, by Andrew S. Trees, which this begun with. It provided a cursory biography of the life of the great once-humble-tradesman-turned-founding-father, and framed the anthology nicely.
Paul Haspel
Mar 24, 2012 Paul Haspel rated it it was amazing
Peruse the bookshelves at the museum shop of the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, and you will no doubt see this edition of Poor Richard's Almanack. It is great fun reading 77 pages' worth of Benjamin Franklin's maxims for industry, thrift, humility, and cheerfulness -- maxims that can be said to have done much to form our collective sense of the American character. This Peter Pauper Press edition of Poor Richard's Almanack, with its old-style typeface (much like what one s ...more
Ive heard this book referenced a lot in history classes, ever since I was in elementary school. Im in college now and I got to read am I not impressed. I thought it was supposed to be some great collection of advice for the colonial period. Its just a proverb collection! And many of them are repeated....which got on my nerves as I was reading it. Yeah it was a quick read but seriously? I feel disappointed that thats all it was. Just a bunch of quotes in a list. No commentary on them or ...more
Mick Maxx
Jan 13, 2012 Mick Maxx rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A literary glimpse into colonial times, this almanac created by Benjamin Franklin is a priceless treasure for Americans. Franklin, under the pen name of Richard Saunders, displays his outright moral aptitude, and the wisdom of one of the founders of this prosperous nation. Seeing that the almanac was the second most popular book in colonial homes (after, hhhhm, the Holy Bible), it is fitting that a master of economic gain such as Franklin would have created one. Franklin, you live on in the hear ...more
Po Po
Sep 20, 2014 Po Po rated it liked it
Pretty good. Filled with many of the classic aphorisms we've heard a million times (such as "early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise" and "three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.")

Franklin seems a little too preoccupied with gluttony (there are many warnings against eating too much) and sloth and drunkenness.

There are some questionable morsels of wisdom: "Love well, whip well." ???? And "Ne'er take a wife til thou hast a house (and a fire) to put her in." A
James Swenson
Feb 09, 2015 James Swenson rated it liked it
Even though it's short, this is a better book to dip into than to read straight through -- the way to get value from it is to spend at least a little time pondering the maxims.

But I'm not like that; I went from cover to cover. The result was to make me feel guilty: I should have been finishing my grading, not reading this book, and Franklin is happy to drive the point home...
Well done is better than well said.
Have you somewhat to do to-morrow, do it today.
You may delay, but Time will not.

Jul 01, 2008 Banaticus rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Most everyone
Benjamin Franklin is able to put forth a comical series of almanacks, under a creative pseudonym for which a back history is created, all while engaging in a verbal battle with another almanack maker. A very small amount of his jokes are somewhat ribald, but nothing hardcore.
Danielle Ferralez
Jun 05, 2011 Danielle Ferralez rated it liked it
A bit outdated with quotes like "Marry your Son when you will, but your Daughter when you can" but still great relevance in some: "Whate'er's begun in anger ends in shame."
Summer Lane
Dec 31, 2012 Summer Lane rated it it was amazing
There is NO better book of witticisms and wisdom than this one.
Totally tweetable, forever memorable.
I guess that's what you call timeless.
Jul 22, 2008 Wendy rated it it was amazing
My 1st 5-star book!
Brilliant, blissful and beautiful choice of words and phrases. Some are Benjamin Franklin's own and some are derived from Latin, Greek and other older sources. This almanac serves as a book of wisdom, enlightenment and success.

Old cover of one of the published almanacs

Ben had a desire for educating the common people, having been raised into a lower middle class family, and had his own life-long rags to riches story. He started publishing these yearly almanacs, as a way of better the living conditions of people by words of wisdom, and in
Jan 02, 2017 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of the concepts are just enlightenment philosophy rehashed into a fun to say kind of way. The book still is able to deliver many tweetable quotes and ideas that are entirely human and are important to this day.
brian d rogers
Oct 23, 2016 brian d rogers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Age cant diminish

What a great simple little read from one of this nations founding fathers. Age can't diminish solid thoughts, and if the applicable words are used, you could find corrective actions you need.

Loved it and Weill read it again!
Nov 27, 2016 Dawuud rated it really liked it
good , just started
Oct 06, 2016 Daniel rated it really liked it
A short, but good read from Benjamin Franklin.
Jul 04, 2015 David rated it liked it
Shelves: classics, philosophy
Some excerpts:

- Neither a fortress nor a maidenhead will hold out long after they begin to parley.

- Gifts much expected, are paid not given.

- The cat in gloves catches no mice.

- Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed.

- Where there’s marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.

- Who has deceiv’d thee so oft as thy self?

- Hear Reason, or she’ll make you feel her.

- What signifies knowing the Names, if you know not the Natures of Things?

- Mankind are very odd C
Jan 23, 2016 Will rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-undated
Edition 0-88088-918-7 (note: no page numbers in this edition

The first Degree of Folly, is to conceit one's self wise; the second to profess it; the third to despise Counsel.

'Tis easier to suppress the first Desire, than to satisfy all that follow it.

To err is human, to repeat divine; to persist devilish.

*"There are no ugly loves, nor handsome prisons."
They who have nothing to trouble them, will be troubled at nothing.

*"He that would live in peace and at ease, must no speak all he knows, nor judg
Lady Jane
Jan 17, 2013 Lady Jane rated it it was amazing
How is it possible to write a review to a book with phrases that have become so much a part of our everyday language? Phrases such as "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise." Or "He that sows thorns should never go barefoot." And on and on!

I noticed many of the phrases had already been uttered by other authors. For example, "Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man" is very reminiscent of Francis Bacon's essay "Of Studies," in which
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Sep 06, 2016 Sharon Barrow Wilfong rated it really liked it
Franklin wrote a yearly almanack with quotes and stories for each month under the pseudonym of Richard Saunders. Almanacks were popular in colonial America. They offered weather forecasts, advice for running a household, puzzles and witticisms. Franklin's almanacks are a funny satire on life in the 18th century and were famous for his wordplays. Many famous sayings we still know were penned by Franklin in his almanac. Here are a few:

Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.

Lost Time is n
Bookworm Amir
Jul 18, 2012 Bookworm Amir rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Something that you can read anytime, everytime. A classic book for people to learn from his experiences, although I seem to notice that some of the advices are recurrent. He mainly talks about being frugal, living the 7 virtues, and other social commentaries that would make you a better person.

Its amazing that some of his proverbs are already 'cliched' in today's societies - and I was surprised to see his short comments on the weather, science, religions and other interesting short articles he h
Jan 21, 2014 Deanna rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics

Reread:1/2014 love these snippets.

5/2012: I bought myself a copy while in Boston of this witty, yet still very profound "sage wisdom" that can still find application today.

For example,

Do not do that which you would not have known.

Sally laughs at everything you say. Why? Because she has fine teeth.

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.

Haste makes waste.

Sloth (like rust) consumes faster than labour wears: the used key is always bright.

Great talkers should be cropp'd, for they
Feb 01, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first, the idea that these were written before the United States even existed as a country impressed me beyond anything else. Along with that the similarities of Poor Richard's advice (and franklin's letters containing advice at the end) to today's 'living simply' movement were striking. Minus some of the more complex turns of phrase, some of the essays/letters could have been on someone's blog.
I loved that the book I was reading was printed in the early 50's as well. It made everything more
Taymara Jagmohan
Oct 17, 2012 Taymara Jagmohan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book of adages!


It was a short-read. Just what I needed during the days of hope.

He concluded the book with this line-

Let no pleasure tempt thee,
No profit allure thee,
No ambition corrupt thee,
No example sway thee,
No persuasion move thee,
To do anything which thou
Knowest to be evil;
So shalt thou always live jollily;
For a good conscience is a continual Christmas.

Very adequate.

Thank you Ben! May you always be happy. In generations to come!

Yours truly and ever blossoming,
May 29, 2009 Mike rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: humor, favorite
This is a book of proverbs written by Ben Franklin a very witty man. You may have heard of him, he was pretty instrumental in the American revolution:

Franklin did this and Franklin did that and Franklin did some other damn thing. Franklin smote the ground and out sprang George Washington, fully grown and on his horse. Franklin then electrified him with his miraculous lightning rod and the three of them- Franklin, Washington, and the horse- conducted the entire revolution by themselves.
John Adams
Jim Leckband
Feb 09, 2011 Jim Leckband rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vincent Russo
Jul 01, 2014 Vincent Russo rated it really liked it
Lots of very quotable snippets from Benjamin Franklin. These small nuggets of wisdom generally center around wealth, marriage, and frugality. Entertaining read, and many of these quotes are just as relevant as they were then as they are now. The content in between the small phrases isn't as useful, and my version at least had quite a few spelling errors (which were perhaps kept from the original?).
Manoj Chugh
Nov 26, 2014 Manoj Chugh rated it really liked it
An Oldie Goldie.

Even if you have not read this book, you have come across its nuggets of wisdom:
> Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise
> Silence is not always a Sign of Wisdom, but Babbling is ever a Mark of Folly
> Half the Truth is often a great Lie
> There are no gains without pains
> One today is worth two tomorrows

Give yourself a favour and read it... you will find it motivational as Benji intended :)
Feb 20, 2008 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Margaret by: Stefanie Nagy, upon a trip to Philadelphia to visit!
Makes you really love what our forefathers stood for. Makes one reflect upon the current political state of America and realize there was much wit and wisdom in the ideology of our forefathers and look for it in our current political candidates! Good ole Ben was the man of his day! If history truly repeats itself, we should attempt to find him in our current political pool.
Leandro Melendez
Increíble ver un poco de la personalidad de Franklin, y de sus opiniones y reseñas en tantos temas, social, dinero, actividad física, astrología, manos, culturas y hasta el epitafio de una ardilla.
no puedo esperar a leer su biografía.
Definitivamente todo un personaje!
Sep 10, 2016 Tony rated it liked it
This was a fun book full of good sayings to think about and live by. My only issue with the book is that much of the language is dated, and so can be hard to understand.

This was a quick read, however, and a good place to find great quotes.
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Benjamin Franklin was a writer, a philosopher, a scientist, a politician, a patriot, a Founding Father, an inventor, and publisher. He helped with the founding of the United States of America and changed the world with his discoveries about electricity. His writings such as Poor Richards' Almanac have provided wisdom for 17 years to the colonies.
More about Benjamin Franklin...

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