How to become erudite →

On his blog FreakoStats, Garth Zietsman answers a tremendously fascinating question :

Have you ever encountered one of those deeply literate people who are able to quote aptly and accurately from a wide range of classical literature?  Have you ever met someone who has a prodigious general knowledge?  Did you envy that knowledge?  Did you think they must be superbly well educated?

He suggests a list of ten rules to achieve “erudition”, the first of which is :

read 6-7 ordinary length books per month – that’s on the order of 2½ to 3 hours per day;

Another one of his rules reminds of Daniel Pennac’s Rights of the Reader :

if you are getting bored with what you are reading change to another book;

The gap between knowing what to do and actually executing on this noble intention can be large. So we better start right now (from Wikipedia) :

The Harvard Classics […] is a 51-volume anthology of classic works from world literature, compiled and edited by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot and first published in 1909. […]

Eliot had stated in speeches that the elements of a liberal education could be obtained by spending 15 minutes a day reading from a collection of books that could fit on a five-foot shelf.