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Poor Richard's Almanack

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  846 ratings  ·  61 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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Community Reviews

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Paul Haspel
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
Mick Maxx
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
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
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.

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
Jul 01, 2008 Banaticus rated it 5 of 5 stars
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 Porras
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
There is NO better book of witticisms and wisdom than this one.
Totally tweetable, forever memorable.
I guess that's what you call timeless.
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
My 1st 5-star book!
Lady Jane
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
Bookworm Amir
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
Kitty Pearl
Lovely woodcut illustrations and fine paper adds to the nostalgia of these old yet timeless words of wisdom. You'll find familiar phrases and many new ones, and some you'll be amazed to hear yourself say, "So that's where that's from!" Easy relaxing read that still makes you think.
Kim Pocock
"If man could have Half his Wishes, he would double his Troubles."

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

"Being ignorant is not so much a Shame, as being unwilling to learn."
Fredrick Danysh
This a reprint of the almanacs for the years 1733-1758. A wide variety of writings are covered. Besides political commentary, we are treated to the wit and wisdom of Benjamin Franklin.
This book is a real easy read and an encyclopedic one.
Benjamin Franklin is sure full of wisdom and clarity but I didn't appreciate his vision of women and marriage.
Jason Phillips
It is a very very long book that never seems to end and oft repeats itself. There are many witty quips and brilliant advice if you can get through it. But who the hell is Richard Saunders?

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
Ngee Poo
one of the shortest books ive ever read, but literally had to stop at almost every single quote to think
Jim Leckband
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Derek Postlewaite
A number of witty quotes to live by and return to. A quick and fun read.
Very witty and many sayings are still timely.
Plenty of fun to be had with this one. Enjoy.
Taymara Jagmohan
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 5 of 5 stars
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
Stanley Lee
Lots of hard-to-find life lessons
Yaqooo xu
awesome advices!
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
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!
Manoj Chugh
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 :)
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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...
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin The Autobiography and Other Writings The Way to Wealth Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School A Benjamin Franklin Reader

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