How to Live on Twenty-four Hours a Day

How to Live twenty four hours a day accomplished exactly what Arnold Bennett had hoped it would. It made people keenly aware of the value of time aware of the time, and especially the importance of using leisure time to some advantage instead of just frittering it away. It encouraged many to budget their time and spend it more wisely, to use hours they formerly wasted to advance themselves, to improve their minds, their personalities, their careers, and their lives – to add to their happiness.


The little book was an immediate success. It made thousands of eager, enthusiastic converts to Arnold Bennett’s method of self discipline and self direction. Letters began to pour in from people who had organised their time as he suggested, and had joyfully discovered it gave extra zest and interest to all their daily activities. The idea of budgeting time like money, and using it as carefully, was widely discussed in the press and from the lecture platform. How to live on Twenty Four Hours a Day became more than a title ; it became one of the most familiar and inspiring Phase of that period.


Bennett himself was amazed at the ever increasing interest in his idea. “I have received a large amount of correspondence concerning this small work!” he marvelled in his preface to one of the later editions. He was to marvel even more in later years when it remained one of his most popular books – in spite of such famous works as The Old Wives’ Tales, Clayhanger, Riceyman Steps, and The Vanguard.


How to live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day has become a little classic on self improvement, and is still one of Arnold Bennett’s best known books. An old time favourite, it continues to make new friends; for it provides the inspired a answer to all who complain they “haven’t a minute spare” or “just can’t find the time.” It proves that the time is there, twenty-four golden hours of it every day; and that all one has to do is spend it wisely and well to secure the greatest returns in happiness and contentment.


Taken from Light from many Lamps by Lillian Eichler Watson.

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