This book is incredibly overlooked and underrated, most probably because James Allen's As a Man Thinketh is so popular. Napoleon Hill, Clement Stone, Charles Haanel, etc., are all decent success authors but in my opinion they have nothing on Allen.
This is the last book Allen wrote before he died, so it contains his highest thought on the principles of success; it is a work of genius, no doubt due to his ability to concentrate his mind so well. The book itself talks about principles and not so much the application. In other words, an author like Napoleon Hill will tell you to be generous to others, but Allen tells you why and how it relates to everything else, and that in reality, things like kindness are only necessary for the higher and more enduring successes. The 8 Pillars are more about achievement than they are about money, so if you're looking to find a 'wealth' or 'money' book, look elsewhere. He says that all real successes are based on energetic activity, the intelligent management of one's time and money, honesty, and discipline/routine/order, and that four other pillars are needed for higher successes: Sympathy, Sincerity, Impartiality, Self-reliance. Here are some quotes for you to get a feel of some of the content:
"The whole world is always on the lookout to reward the best."
"The man who gets up early in order to think and plan, so that he may weigh and consider and forecast, will always manifest greater skill and success in his particular pursuit, than the man who stays in bed till the last moment, and only gets up just in time to start breakfast."
"It is impossible for one to fail who is full of energy, who carefully manages his time and money, and virtuously preserves his vitality, who practices unswerving integrity, and who systematizes his work by first systematizing his mind."
"Masters who are prompt are a tonic to their employees, and a whip to those who are inclined to shirk."
This book does contain grammatical errors but not enough to make it a nuisance to read. It is written in 1911 and contains words that nowadays we don't really use. The other success books are more practical in application but Allen teaches the principles behind them and to me, that is more useful. Keep in mind that this book is somewhat advanced but if you don't strive to understand the greater, you are likely to remain the lesser, because our understanding of things determines our actions.
Keep in mind that the Beacon Hill edition is adulterated throughout. Compare for yourself:
Beacon Hill (July 21, 2009): "It is better to act with decision and make a mistake than to fail to act and make a mistake, for in the former you are moving yourself forward, in the latter is only stagnation."
Original from the Allen Library: "...and it is better to act with decision and make a mistake than to act with indecision and make a mistake, for in the former case there is but error, but in the latter, weakness is added to error."