Although this is a typically charming book of the era, even starting with an epigraph by Jonathan Swift and an anecdote about Theodore Roosevelt, for me the charm of this book is in its adorable line drawings illustrating its many salient points about conversation, hospitality, behavior and correspondence (sadly not credited to any artist--come on, American Book Company!). See below an image from the chapter on conversation. Learn from Merle's excellent example!
Practical Goodrich points out in the first chapter, "The Good Mixer", that "persons unskilled in the diversions which furnish activity for social get-togethers are a source of uneasiness and perplexity to those who wish them well." What does he recommend?
One more image I love: This is actually from the "Appearance Counts" section of the book. This image is meant to illustrate that "well-dressed means suitably dressed. School and office are not the places for cast-off party dresses, nor are street and store the proper setting for sun suits and lounging pajamas." However, I love this image because it's how I always imagined a lady author of a certain era dressed to write. Being an author looks like such fun!
Although this is a fun, chatty book filled with anecdotes and quotes, the charm is all in the illustrations. A few years ago (pre-scanner), I (probably illegally) took the book to Kinko's and made writing stationery by copying these images onto some lovely writing paper I bought an estate sale. What part of that doesn't make me feel and sound one hundred years old? Copy machines? Writing paper? Sigh. It was adorable stationery, though.