What Did Benjamin Franklin Read?

Benjamin Franklin, one of our Founding Fathers, had a lifelong love of books. He acquired them throughout his life, for, as he noted in his autobiography, “From a Child I was fond of Reading, and all the little Money that came into my Hands was ever laid out in Books.”

Library Thing has catalogued Benjamin Franklin’s library, a total of 3,747 books. They also have included Franklin’s “reviews” when available (on 23 books).

It is truly fascinating to scroll through and take a look at some of the things that interested him.

Data was entered from The Library of Benjamin Franklin (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2006), which you can also link to from the Library Thing site.



About rhapsodyinbooks

We're into reading, politics, and intellectual exchanges.
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4 Responses to What Did Benjamin Franklin Read?

  1. Biblibio says:

    Very interesting… Do they have this for other book-loving historical figures and/or authors?

  2. Yes! Check it out here:

    It’s great fun!

  3. edhird says:

    Benjamin Franklin had a remarkable impact in so many ways, especially in literary areas. A Benjamin Franklin article just received the ‘Top 100 Electricity Blogs’ Award http://bit.ly/z8Ckp

  4. Charlotte Knudsen says:

    To answer the question, although partly:

    Benjamin Franklin reference the following books in his autobiography:

    – The pilgrim’s progress
    – Plutarch’s Lives
    – De Foe – Essay on Projects
    – Dr. Mather’s – Essay to do Good
    – The Spectator (the third volume)

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