AUGUST 23, 1938
HYDE PARK, Monday—I wish someone would tell me why it is so much easier to do a great variety of things in winter than in summer. I can put through twenty engagements in a day in the White House and still have time to do some work and to write and read, but the summer days simply fly by and when it is time to go in for supper nothing of importance is done. I suppose the truth of the matter is that one spends too much time dressing and undressing for riding and swimming and too many long hours enjoying these sports.
It was good to see Mr. Harry Hopkins yesterday and to have him spend the night with us. He is one of the few people in the world who gives me a feeling of being entirely absorbed in doing his job well. So many of us do things because they are thrust upon us or because it seems to be our duty to do them. He seems to work because he has an inner conviction that his job needs to be done and that he must do it. I think he would be that way about any job he undertook. He would not undertake it at all, unless he felt that he could really accomplish something which needed to be done. That is the secret of good work, but how few of us make our decisions on that basis.
The annual baseball game played at Mr. Lowell Thomas' place by the newspaper men accompanying the President and their recruits, against whatever team Mr. Thomas can gather, was held yesterday afternoon. Johnny played with the Washington side and they lost the game, which was a sad blow.
Johnny and Anne decided that they had to go back to Boston this morning to begin getting settled, so last night we went over all the little details which have to be attended to here or in New York City for them. I am hoping to see some results when I go through Boston at the end of September. I am always so much interested in seeing the variety of tastes shown by young people in arranging their new homes. After they left this morning, I had a ride and worked on the mail for a while.
Our only luncheon guests were Mr. and Mrs. Albert Tibbets. Mrs. Tibbets must be very proud of what she has accomplished in the choice of books made by the Junior Literary Guild. She tells me that protests are made about the books chosen for certain age groups because the vocabulary is too varied. That interested me, for in my reviews, I try never to think of any child's book from the point of view of vocabulary. I was brought up on the theory that reading is designed to increase one's vocabulary by forcing one to ask about new words. Therefore, it never seems a disadvantage to me to have words in a book for young people which may be somewhat beyond the average vocabularies.