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Took up reading; have not done that for a long time. I mistrust my book selection and should probably focus on textbooks and biographies, but those provide little interpretation, and that's problematic. The hope is that this time I will think about what I read, possibly remember things, and then some magic will occur, turning quantity into quality, and I will know what I was trying to achieve by reading in the first place.

I have doubts about that working.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
steppenwolf11
Oct. 10th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
Why do you think you should focus on textbooks and biographies?
be_unafraid
Oct. 10th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC)
That should be, "as opposed to popular science books and the such". Textbooks and biographies provide real content, but only for those who are masters of reading and interpreting; I am not one, and I probably need diluted versions, but some of those seriously annoy me.
parudox
Oct. 10th, 2007 01:44 am (UTC)
Textbooks typically contain far too much text whose only purpose is to expose you to material that you're supposed to know in the field. Popular science books have the luxury of focusing on the main idea and making it interesting; this does not necessarily mean they sacrifice something worthwhile to you.

By the way, good popular science books are written by actual scientists, often with the express purpose of making the material clear, accessible, and unencumbered by obfuscating jargon — not to dumb it down. The Selfish Gene is a good example.
be_unafraid
Oct. 10th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
True, but the risk of material being dumbed down or simply being "fun" instead of "useful" is still elevated (and then, naturally, I have doubts about needing to know the material itself, ever, for anything)
parudox
Oct. 10th, 2007 02:05 am (UTC)
Everything is a spectrum. There are good readable textbooks and there are excellent popular science books that are not dumbed down. Just do the, uh... research.
be_unafraid
Oct. 10th, 2007 02:09 am (UTC)
Research without actually reading the book does not always work, I'm sorry to say :)
steppenwolf11
Oct. 10th, 2007 02:06 am (UTC)
I see. I take it you're not interested in fiction at this time?

By the way, depending on the choice, pop sci books actually paint quite an adequate general picture, IMHO. Then, if you see that you are really interested in a particular topic, you can move on to dryer scientific books/articles that otherwise would have put you to sleep within minutes. I think.
be_unafraid
Oct. 10th, 2007 02:20 am (UTC)
I have some fiction classics on my list, like The Catcher in the Rye, and at a later point, I should get to world epics (which I have not read as a teenager), although I don't know if I actually will. That's as close to fiction as I get at the moment.
mynegation
Oct. 10th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC)
Whatever you read, please leave your Visual Bookshelf FB app running. I'm checking it out from time to time and already pushed some of your picks into my queue.
be_unafraid
Oct. 10th, 2007 05:19 am (UTC)
I'm glad it's of use to someone except me :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )