The book can be a slog, because in between the clear and compelling charge to 'live the life you have imagined,' there's a LOT about the cost of nails and boards and how much he had to spend on beans. Building the cottage cost him $28, which they translate to being less than $900 in today's dollars -- so, really cheap even for the times.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."— Henry David Thoreau
He did find it sublime, of course.
The previous owners of our house left a poster up in the room that's slowly becoming my craft room/office, where I am sitting now. But it bothers me that the quote is incorrect -- "live the life you dreamed," it says. I'll live.