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Around the Web: The Importance of Reading

Our friend Gideon of fame has a good post today about reading: :: On Reading

His point is simple, but worth reiterating again and again (and again). In the scramble to come up with increasingly streamlined and clever systems for tackling academic work, it’s easy to forget the underlying truth: at the lowest level, there is no avoiding sitting down and thinking hard about hard things.

As Gideon puts it:

There is a time for technology and clever tricks. There is also a time for elbow grease. If you want to get anything out of novel by Hermann Hesse or the Histories of Herodotus, skimming won’t do it.

Indeed. If you’re not making your mind hurt, at least once a day, trying to understand something hard, then you’re probably missing one of the greatest benefits of the college experience.

In fact, this quest for mind hurt was a big motivating factor in my decision to move on to graduate school. It’s oddly addictive.

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