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Reading without pressure

With this new targeted ambition in mind, to read for personal contentment, the pressure to read all the time starts to lift. We have the option of only a dozen books on our shelves and yet feel in no way intellectually undernourished or deprived.

When we know that we are reading to be content, we won't need to chase every book published. The more we understand what reading is for us, the more we can enjoy intimate relationships with a few works that deeply shaped us to live and die well.

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The modern world equates the intelligent person will the well-read person. It's difficult to think of anyone arriving at any worthy insights without having read an impressive number of books.

But despite the pressure to read through multiple awarded and fascinating boo...

The premodern world was obsessed with asking, "what is the point is of reading?" They had answers too.

  • For example, the value for Christians and Muslims was holding up one book - the Bible or the Koran - as more important than anything else. This bo...

The modern world has adopted an Enlightenment mantra that states there should be no limit to how much we read because we read in order to know everything. We don't read to understand God or to follow civic virtue; we read to understand the whole of human ...

Our exhaustive approach to reading does not make us truly happy. We appear to have a permanent sense of being under-read when compared with our peers and what the media has declared respectable.

To simplify our lives, we should ask the same old-fashioned question: What am I rea...

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Being in a bad place mentally is extremely difficult when going through it alone, however, the good thing about the modern world is it offers three main sources for solace:

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