a great book is a great evil

Cf. CALLIMACHUS Fragments 465 (Pfeiffer) τὸ μέγα βιβλίον ἴσον..εἶναι τῷ μεγάλῳ κακῷ, the great book is equal to a great evil.

1628 BURTON Anatomy of Melancholy (ed. 3) 7 Oftentimes it falls out..a great Booke is a great mischiefe.

1711 ADDISON Spectator 23 July We do not expect to meet with any thing in a bulky Volume... A great Book is a great Evil.

1933 Oxford English Dictionary (Preface) p. vii. If there is any truth in the old Greek maxim that a large book is a great evil, English dictionaries have been steadily growing worse ever since their inception more than three centuries ago.


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