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“If your mind needs phosphorus, try ‘Trivia,’ by Logan Pearsall Smith.”

— Roger Mifflin, proprietor of The Haunted Bookshop

“It would be extravagant to claim that Pearsall Smith’s Trivia, the remarkable little book from which these miniature essays are extracted, is well known: it is too daintily, fragile and absurd and sophisticated to appeal to a very large public. But it has a cohort of its own devotees and fanatics, and since its publication in 1917 it has become a sort of password in a secret brotherhood,” wrote Christopher Morley in his book Modern Essays about this hard-to-categorize collection of aphorisms that, through its title, introduced a word into the English language. Smith’s aphorisms are anything but trivial; alternately whimsical and insightful and heartbreaking, they are popcorn-sized glimpses into the human condition.

The third in a new collection of classic books inspired by Roger Mifflin, owner of Morley’s Haunted Bookshop, Trivia is an early 20th century gem.