Thoughts On the Race of Reading more Books

The art of reading is an important skill from centuries. It can be a source of entertainment or a source to ideas leading to new discoveries. It’s wonderful to dive into the mind of Einstein or Socrates who lived centuries ago.

However, in the era of Kindle, the race of reading more books is rising. I have seen people reading 80-100 books a year. I never understood the logic behind the fascination with reading more books in less time.

It’s the fear of missing out something that forces people to buy many books. The primary purpose of books is to earn money. Subtle marketing and sales is filling Amazon and Google with bestsellers every day.

There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it. ~ Bertrand Russell

Books are not magic. They contain an author’s opinion and experience. For non-fiction books, it takes time to assimilate the knowledge. It takes time to find the author’s biases.

You have to re-read them repeatedly to implement them. I read a short essay “On Reading and Books” by Arthur Schopenhauer.

When we read, another person thinks for us. We merely repeat his mental process. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer.

The most difficult task i.e. thinking is already done by the writer. Also, You cannot inherit the author’s literary qualities by reading the books.

Our mind is like a slate which gets erased by continuous reading until we digest already read books. Arthur argued that only 1/5th gets remembered similar the amount of food digested. It becomes impossible to reflect if we keep on reading them without reflecting. It’s only by the reflection, we can gain new paradigms and perspective from books.

Another astonishing point Arthur makes is that if a book is famous, it does not mean you should read it. If everyone reads same stuff, then they will the similar ideas. We should shed the mob mentality and focus on what books interest us the most.

Arthur points out that work is the epitome of a mind. It always has greater value than conversation, even if the conversation is about great people.

Speak your latent conviction. . . Else tomorrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another. ~ Ralph Waldo Emmerson

We have the tendency to always look for a quick fix when we get stuck in a problem or face failure. This is the reason, Self-Help industry is a billion dollar business. We don’t value our thoughts compared to other people’s thoughts.

It would be a good thing to buy books if one could also buy the time to read them. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer.

Choosing which book to read is not a trivial decision. It takes time to read a book which is worth more than the small amount we spend on a book. If you buy the book, it always reminds you of being guilty for letting it rest on the shelf.

I have decided to be more conscious while choosing and buying books.