How to Read (Like a Philosopher) | EP 15

The art of reading must be learned and then practiced on a daily basis. Socrates the philosopher had a complicated relationship with the written word. He neither fully dismissed its value nor embraced it. Instead, he was worried that writing things down (and reading them) would weaken your memory.

In Plato’s “Phaedrus”, he describes the conversation between Socrates and Phaedrus. It’s a fascinating read because Socrates uses an ancient Egyptian myth to point out that we will use writing, not as a tool for learning, but a tool for forgetting.

Why remember if you can write something down, right?

The most relevant passage from that dialogue is:

“For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.”

It underscores the idea that reading in itself isn’t enough. You need to internalize, reflect on, and truly understand the content for it to be of genuine value.

That’s why, in this week’s podcast episode, we’re talking about how to read like a philosopher. How does one approach the reading experience so that it’s not superficial?


As mentioned in the video, I want to give a huge shout out to a youtube channel that has inspired me to start this very podcast.

Check out his channel at:


  • Affordable at just $4.99 a month
  • Includes FULL membership to Highlightish for book notes and writing
  • Live Session Every Tuesday at 8:30 EST in your Highlightish account
  • Read the kinds of books that will impact your life
  • Weekly reading assignments to keep you on track
  • Stay accountable to your reading goals
  • Enjoy deep, weekly conversation with other adults on an intellectual level

Get started at:

Thanks for watching, listening, and MOST IMPORTANTLY → Reading.


About Me:

My name is Eddy Hood. I live in Utah with my wife and kids. I always have a book with me, and if you see me on the street, I’d love to hear about what you’re reading.

To stay in the loop, make sure to visit my website at There, you’ll find the latest show information on my weekly podcast, access to previous episodes, and a chance to join my newsletter.

I’m also building something special just for you at It’s a tool to help you make better book notes. We will discover creative ways to capture our thoughts, insights, and reflections as we dive into the pages of our favorite reads together.

So grab a drink, open a book, and join me each week to become a better reader. Let’s build a community that celebrates the magic of books and supports each other in our reading goals. Together, we’ll uncover the secrets to becoming lifelong learners who find solace, knowledge, and fascination within the pages of every book we encounter.<

Published by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *