Read less but gain more?
I have never been an avid reader when I was young. The real journey of enjoyable reading started in later age. At the beginning it was mostly self-help books. The more, the better. Until I stumbled upon Stoicism and philosophy in general. Skepticism was prevalent in the beginning as I assumed the books would be essentially about nothing applicable to real life.
I could not be more wrong.
The books about philosophy changed me. They changed me like I never thought they could. Do not get me wrong. It did not happen over night. It did not happen from reading the books once. It did not even happen when I read them many times. It happened since I've been truly deeply reading the words of the books that make the most sense to me. It happened since I've been practicing what I read, every day. Of course not everything at once, and certainly not everything that is written there. Take what make sense to you and interpret it so it fits your vision of your future self. And every now and then, reflect upon your vision or goals, and adjust accordingly. At least that is what I do.
Nevertheless I have been reading three books on Stoicism on repeat for about 3 years. One is written by emperor of Roman Empire, Marcus Aurelius. One is written by famous Roman philosopher, Lucius Annaeus Seneca. One is written by modern author but it is basically a collection of quotes by philosophers with a bit of comment to read every day. I read only the quotes and add my own so the book itself became irrelevant.
These books or collections of meditations, letters and quotes have been great source of wisdom. Beyond the obvious gain, I learned to pick and choose what I read, and read it thoroughly. Now I have a hand full of books I read on repeat. Either for gaining deeper insight and knowledge, or for enjoying a story at deeper level. It is much more satisfying. I will never read books just to appear well read by shear amount of them, or current with trends by reading only “popular” books, or to boast about how much I've read in a month or year. This is not for me.
Actually, I have noticed this need for deeper connection, being more selective, and focusing on quality not quantity, bleeds through to other aspects of my life. And I am very grateful for this.
If this article helps only one person to come to this realization, it is enough for me.
Thank you for reading.
Have a wonderful day. :)