I’ve been debating back and forth reading on Facebook of late. You would’t believe the consternation you can stir up when you argue that reading something, especially a “classic,” would be a waste of time.

I stand by that assertion.

It’s a complete waste of time for a vast majority of people to read anything more complicated than a Donald Duck cartoon. This is doubly true of anything which attempts to impart knowledge or otherwise deeply affect the reader in some way. It takes a system, combined with a great deal of effort and time, to be able to onboard complicated concepts. Lacking that framework, and the environment to be successful, and on boarding the new knowledge just doesn’t work.

You’re just flipping pages.

I slammed into this wall as a teenager reading TS Lawerence’s 7 Pillars of Wisdom. I got nowhere with it, until I stopped to ask what the subtext of the meaning of each part of his story was. For other works, you need to zoom in much further, to the phrase or even word.

Furthermore, unless you immediately try to use that which you have just understood, it will be gone. The subtle nuances disappear first, quickly followed even by the broad strokes of the concept. You’re lucky if you managed to remember the basics of the shape of the idea, let alone the underlying buttresses of the idea and how one might apply it.

The solution is to immediately do exactly that. Put the knowledge to work.

I blame this:

And this: