SCHOPENHAUER: The Art of Not Reading (6 Rules for Reading)

SCHOPENHAUER: The Art of Not Reading (6 Rules for Reading)

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Language: English

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00:00
it would be a good thing to buy books if one could also buy the time to read them but one usually confuses the purchase of books with the acquisition of their contents schopenhauer's essay titled on reading and books is actually more about not reading books if you are curious about reading advice by one of history's brightest minds get ready to be slightly disappointed we
00:32
have distilled the essay down to six rules here they are by the way before we go on you can read the essay in its entirety by clicking the link in the description rule 1 don't read too much schopenhauer true to his grumpy style and outlook is not as enthusiastic about reading as some people in the 21st century are in fact he repeatedly warns against
01:02
the danger of reading too much and so it happens that the person who reads a great deal that is to say almost the whole day and recreates himself by spending the intervals in thoughtless diversion gradually loses the ability to think for himself just as a man who is always riding at lasts forgets how to walk such however is the case with many men of learning they have read themselves
01:32
stupid rule two think about what you've read in reading we are merely retracing the thoughts of the author we are not doing the work ourselves and by not putting in any effort we lose our own ability to think in other words we let others do the thinking for us to remedy this schopenhauer's first piece of advice is to actively think about what you've just read
02:04
it is only by reflection that one can assimilate what one has read if one reads straight ahead without pondering over it later what has been read does not take root but is for the most part lost rule 3 focus on the classics only read for a limited and definite time exclusively the works of great minds those who surpass other men of all times and countries
02:34
and whom the voice of fame points to as such these alone really educate and instruct we have a limited time on this earth and there are millions of books being printed each year most of which are bad however there are some gems which have survived throughout the ages old names that have become well known to us as they have passed the test of time schopenhauer advises us to read only these authors
03:06
schopenhauer does not name specific names but we can make some educated guesses as a big proponent of a classical education who had a passion for ancient greek and latin schopenhauer is primarily alluding to the great greek and roman authors of antiquity reading these will always prove fruitful there is nothing that so greatly recreates the mind as the works of the old classic writers
03:35
directly one has been taken up even if it is only for half an hour one feels as quickly refreshed relieved purified elevated and strengthened as if one had refreshed oneself at a mountain stream is this due to the perfections of the old languages or to the greatness of the minds whose works have remained unharmed and untouched for centuries perhaps to both combined rule 4 read primary texts
04:09
books are written sometimes about this sometimes about that great tinker of former times and the public reads these books but not the works of the man himself this is because it wants to read only what has just been printed and because similes seemingly go that and it finds the shallow insipid gossip of some stupid head of today more homogenous and agreeable than the thoughts of great minds
04:39
challenge yourself and read the primary texts of these authors instead of books about the altars however keep in mind that schopenhauer enjoyed one of the greatest educations available at the time was fluent in latin and greek and had been exposed to these classical authors since childhood most of us in the 21st century aren't quite so lucky we recommend you take this piece of advice with a grain of salt or grano salis a schopenhauer is one
05:11
to say and should you hurry from one book to the next to complete that 52 books in 52 weeks challenge in the new year you can probably guess schopenhauer's answer will be no rule 5 good books should be read twice any kind of important book should immediately be read twice partly because one grasps the matter in its entirety the second time and only really understands the beginning when the
05:42
end is known and partly because in reading it the second time one's temper and mood are different so that one gets another impression it may be that one sees the matter in another light rule 6 bad books are poison one can never read too little of bad or too much of good books bad books are intellectual poison they destroy the mind in order to read what is good
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one must make it a condition never to read what is bad for life is short and both time and strength limited the final rule is perhaps the most important one but how do you know which book is good and which is bad by looking at how well they stood the test of time throughout the essay schopenhauer complains about the public of his day being only interested in what has been printed that year how they read only to have something to
06:46
talk about not to educate their mind how writers don't try to change art anymore but they are merely chasing fame and money instead schopenhauer invites us to take a step back and look backwards to the great writers of antiquity and to start there by reading them slowly and not too often conclusion to conclude here again are schopenhauer's six rules in the art of not reading rule 1
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don't read too much rule 2 think about what you've read rule 3 focus on the classics rule 4 read primary texts rule 5 good books should be read twice rule 6 bad books are poison what do you think of this advice do you have any favorite authors of antiquity and if so which ones please comment below and don't forget to like and subscribe
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if you enjoyed this video thank you for watching and we'll see you in the next one you

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