If you find yourself wanting to speed up the reading process on a particular book, you may want to ask yourself, “Is this book any good?”
~ Ryan Holiday from, https://ryanholiday.net/13-reading-strategies/
Long-time readers will be well aware of my self-diagnosed problem with books. I’ve spent a lot of time reading about reading about books, but this list by Holiday made me think about a few things in a new light. Yes, of course; It’s a post by Holiday so it’s going to have some ancient Stoic philosophers in it. Schopenhauer had a sublime lament about time for reading. Holiday’s strategies won’t help you there. There’ll preserve some of your reading time for, well, more reading. But I still think the hardest part about reading is making it a priority. (Recall: “I don’t have time to…” is bullshit.)
German Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) influenced some of the more prominent minds in the world. His writings and lessons traverse time and discipline. Schopenhauer confronted similar problems with media to the ones we face.~ Shane Parrish from, https://fs.blog/2017/01/schopenhauer-dangers-clickbate/
The scale of Philosophy—just “western” Philosophy alone, even—is mind boggling. Who thought what, at which point in their career. Who influenced whom. Who’s work is now considered bunk, and which is bunk but still necessary to understand some other piece. What is in which language, and then which translation of that should one choose. If so-and-so had an influence on other-person, in what way? …did they build upon, tear down and correct, or push farther the influencer’s work?
At one point, I had deluded myself into attempting a systematic survey of Philosophy. ahahhahaahhaahahhaahahahahahhahaaa. Silly human.
But this small-ish article from Parrish led me to actually wonder about some of Schopenhauer’s essays. And I’ve ended up with an English translation of his On Reading and Books now sitting on my read-next table.
It’s important to take time to think about what we’re reading and not merely assume the thoughts of the author. We need to digest, synthesize, and organize the thoughts of others if we are to understand. This is the grunt work of thinking. It’s how we acquire wisdom.~ Shane Parrish from, https://fs.blog/2015/08/schopenhauer-on-reading/
That’s a tiny taste from a delightful and sublime collection of thoughts on reading and books. Which will serve perfectly as an on-ramp to Schopenhauer’s actual essay, On Reading and Books. Which, furthermore, is even linked as a modern PDF from that same page. Wonders never cease.