A young man sitting in an armchair reading books in a library

Read the Best Writers

It’s true. You don’t have time to read everything. The argument, then, is that you should only read the best writers. Why waste your precious time on books that are poorly written or copy the ideas of others (to which there are many)?

There’s a benefit to hanging out with history’s brightest thinkers. “Contact with writers of genius procures us the immediate advantage of lifting us to a higher plane; by their superiority alone they confer a benefit on us even before teaching us anything. They set the tone for us; they accustom us to the air of the mountaintops. We were moving in a lower region; they bring us at one stroke into their own atmosphere” (Sertillanges 158).

It’s simple. Read the kinds of books that will help you grow smarter, discover new ideas, and perhaps create your own valuable contributions. Now, I’m not arguing that reading for pleasure is a waste of time (see my post on Hercule Poirot for proof that I love a good murder mystery). What I am arguing is that when you’re in “go mode,” reading to self-educate, be as judicious as possible when picking your teachers.

Until tomorrow, read slowly – take notes – apply the ideas.



Works Cited:

Sertillanges, A.G. The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods. The Catholic University of America, 1992.

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