The Kitchen Vedantist

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To Read or not to Read

Left Brain Simulation 6

Left Brain Simulation 6 (Photo credit: Paige Marie)

There won’t be many people who don’t extol the virtues of reading- whether they read or otherwise. I don’t know where I stand compared to people who could be called voracious readers; but I do know that I have read some of the greatest literature. If you rate by quality, I know I would score well. Despite all that I also know I don’t like to always read. No, it is not laziness; nor is it that I believe quality is hard to come by, and if one were to read all the time one would have to read second rate stuff as well. There’s so much of great literature that even the most voracious of readers can hope to read only a fraction of it.

For me there is a thing called too much of reading. When you read too much, you are spending all your time immersed in other people’s thoughts. You are seeing the world through someone’s eyes. Yes, there are occasions when a conversation, a turn of phrase, or a situation feels as if the writer had seen your innermost thoughts. The clarity of vision, delightful insight and the wisdom a great work imparts can’t be overestimated. But isn’t there something to experiencing life first hand? I may not be a genius but my perceptions are as unique as I am- I want to have time to be immersed in them. I may not come up with a work of art, but I have an underlying sense of structure to the multitude of experiences that I have gone through- I would like to play with it at least in my imagination.
And then there are other reasons and moods too. Sometimes I read a challenging book-mostly non-fiction- and then don’t feel like picking up another book for months on end. But the time I lie down and stare at the ceiling does something for me- beneath the surface, the thoughts and ideas are assimilated; sometimes new perspectives, spin off ideas and questions are formed; and often I come out of the hibernation invigorated to take on a new exploratory trip down as-yet undefined intellectual pathways. I believe it has added new cells to the matter inside my skull.
Now, is there anyone out there who thinks there’s some sense in this approach? Or am I wasting precious opportunity?
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March 4, 2013 - Posted by | culture, literature, self expression, Uncategorized | ,

2 Comments »

  1. True. Especially when one starts to see through most of the writings that one reads…

    Comment by Rahul | March 5, 2013 | Reply

    • Yes, when you start seeing patterns. But actually I missed the point- there’s more than simple dislike- these days I have come to dread other people’s lives, their thoughts and impressions crowding my inner space. Not that I would stop reading altogether, but I’m going to pay more attention to what and how much is the right thing

      Comment by umavvs | March 5, 2013 | Reply


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