Embrace Studying for the Sake of Studying
It’s uncommon that I learn a guide and not using a pencil in hand, desirous to underline and take notes and take into consideration methods I can flip that studying into some sensible profit. Would this writer be good on the AoM podcast? Is there something in right here that may make good supply materials for an article? Ought to I be writing down that attention-grabbing nugget about how [figure from history] spent their free time?
Briefly, most of my studying is completed with its utility in thoughts.
I’m definitely not the one one. It’s a pattern I’ve seen increasingly of, and have turn into increasingly disenchanted with. I spend a whole lot of time on the bookish web — guide blogs, #bookstagram, writer interviews on podcasts — and one factor that’s turn into fairly clear is that lots of people, particularly guys, have this concept that studying is just about solely good for its relevant use. It’s merely a software for changing into a greater, extra productive particular person, making extra money, and/or shifting up the ladder (both in your profession, or your life basically).
Bah humbug to that!
At the moment, I’m making the case for taking again the concept of studying for sheer pleasure — for bringing Romance again to the written phrase.
Embrace Studying for the Sake of Studying
The self-help web has instrumentalized practically every little thing that makes life satisfying. Each exercise is to be accomplished with some particular goal in thoughts. You’re supposed to maximise the ROI of your free time in order that it’s not simply refreshing, but additionally makes you a greater (learn: extra productive) particular person.
You must get loads of sleep so that you might be your only at work; pursue a interest so that you might be extra recharged for work; take a stroll so that you might be extra impressed at work.
This pattern has completely infiltrated the realm of studying as effectively. We’re speculated to learn books on enterprise, books on management, books on self-development to turn into one of the best entrepreneur, boss, or worker we might be. A extra well-rounded citizen. A greater husband and father. We’re even speculated to learn fiction for its concrete advantages; analysis exhibits that novels make you extra empathetic and inventive!
These are hardly dangerous goals, however there’s additionally an argument for generally pursuing leisure for leisure’s sake. As its personal Good, with out the necessity for some other rationalizations.
And there’s an argument for studying for studying’s sake. For spending time with books for no different motive however enjoyment, pleasure — even merely their sheer magnificence.
Take into consideration what occurs if you go to an artwork museum. You wander round, items of artwork, unmoved by some, however caught enraptured and unable to look away by others. You aren’t asking, “Are there sensible takeaways from this artwork I’m ?” You’re letting the impression it makes wash over you. You’re questioning what moved the artist to color a selected brush stroke. You’re admiring the craft and talent of their work. You’re questioning what it’s that so entrances you. Above all, you’re simply having fun with it. Issues which might be lovely inherently convey gentle to the soul and the psyche.
That is true for any murals — books included. Most authors spend years crafting their characters, agonizing over each sentence, arranging paragraphs and dialogue in simply the suitable means. And it’s not simply novelists — you’ll be able to’t learn the likes of Robert Caro, Candice Millard, Erik Larson, and so many extra, with out seeing the artwork and craft of their books.
In the event you go right into a guide with the mindset that you just’re merely having fun with a murals, your thoughts is free of the necessity to discover the utility in it. It may be enriching and edifying (although in no particular route and with out quantifiable profit). It will also be simply plain entertaining. Consuming artwork, from work and sculptures to films and books, isn’t simply heady, it’s additionally enjoyable! An escape. And utilizing artwork — together with books — to seek out that escape, is okay. It’s greater than okay, in reality, it’s vital.
This isn’t to say which you could’t be taught one thing from books whereas having fun with their diversionary magnificence. Studying is its personal pleasure — one which you could pursue for the pleasure alone, with no actual finish in thoughts. No sensible use, no profession or private growth software, no note-taking to evaluate in a while, simply as its personal “ineffective” Good.
I hereby provide you with permission to place down the highlighter and let your mind wander freely by a guide, with out the intent of discovering functions for what you’re taking in. Let your self learn with no ulterior motives and embrace the easy pleasure that comes from dropping your self in a textual content.
To observe what I’m personally studying (for each work AND pleasure), subscribe to my weekly publication.
Additionally make sure you take heed to our podcast with Zena Hitz for much more on the concept of studying for its personal sake: