Here are some wet-ink thoughts about reading:
- There is a difference between reading well and being well read. The former may or may not mean anything about what you have gained from reading. The latter usually means you've done a good job.
- If you want a good, robust knowledge about a subject, please, please, please, be sure to carefully, diligently, and honestly read those you disagree with. Read primary sources, too. If you get your knowledge of opposing views from a secondary source, you deceive yourself into thinking you have studied a subject properly. You also set yourself up to look pretty ignorant in "street" conversations. Something When I read those I might disagree with, I picture myself in a coffee shop with them. I try to display the same patience and willingness to hear them out that I would if they were sitting right across the table from me. Usually, as I'm reading I develop a bond with the author and become sympathetic to what I might perceive as an error or blind spot. For me, this is the way to go. It basically amounts to a form of love. It would be clearly unloving to get up and walk out in the middle of a conversation, so why would we do this with books? Don't get me wrong, there's a point where a book might become a waste of time to finish, but for the most part it is better to train yourself to interact with ideas rather than flee from them.
- Along the same lines, read people outside your box. This helps you get a better knowledge of your own weaknesses. Critique from an outside source may be really helpful and revealing.
- Read fiction to expand your imagination.
- Read biographies to raise your own personal standards.
Eh. Nothing profound. Just an excuse to get something posted on this oft-neglected book blog.
Book reviews are in the horizon. I'll try to put all these points into practice.