This was one of those books that absolutely wowwed me. I took it up north with me for the weekend along with my next book because I was worried that it would be too dry for me and I wouldn't care for it. I started it late at night after a couple of beers and found myself wanted to talk to somebody about how wonderful it was but deciding to reserve judgement until the following morning. The next day it went on a boat with me and I passed a few pleasant hours on a lake with a lovely book.
I have always liked Emerson but I like him mostly in quotes. Whenever I have attempted to delve into his essays I end up feeling lost and disconnected from the text. Through First We Read, I have realized that the problem is that Emerson is just so much. Everything he wrote is completely loaded with thoughts and ideas that are brilliant. I find myself wanting to quote this sentence then that until the whole thing just feels too full for me to really take it in. Richardson makes Emerson more accessible to me. He uses Emerson's essays to form an essay of his own on how Emerson viewed the creative process.
I would suggest this book to any writer. Emerson is brimming with thoughts about art. It is about the process, he says, not the final product. Expression is a human need and the act is vital. At the end of this little volume I felt inspired and thoughtful and like I had found a new friend in writing.