Reading very hard

"Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life. It seems a pity to sit, like the Lady of Shalott, peering into a mirror, with your back turned on all the bustle and glamour of reality. And if a man reads very hard, as the old anecdote reminds us, he will have little time for thought.


Many who have 'plied their book diligently,' and know all about some one branch or another of accepted lore, come out of the study with an ancient and owl-like demeanour, and prove dry, stockish, and dyspeptic in all the better and brighter parts of life."

- Robert Louis Stevenson, An Apology for Idlers

I am trying not to read too hard. As February thaws out, I am trying to move more slowly, be less "stockish" (what does that mean?), let more bustle into my life.

First step: changing my morning routine. Usually monopolized by headlines (Le Monde, New York Times, Libération, L'humanité), rarely by the actual content of articles, my mornings are undergoing an overhaul, inspired by Günter Grass:

"Between nine and ten o’clock I have a long breakfast with reading and music."
(courtesy of Daily Routines)

Reading a few pages, with tea, is more efficient in waking me up to the day than a frantic search across news websites that basically only ensure to me that the world has not blown up, but has maintained a certain status quo of ignominy and suffering.

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