The Importance of Reading – Prince Ghazi b. Mohd.

Reading broadens one’s horizons and mind.

‘There will thus remain only one feasible option for broadening one’s horizons and mind, and becoming more objective and tolerant. It is this: that people should put down their mobile phones, and turn off the net and the TV, and spend at least an hour every day in silent, solitary, and systematic reading. Reading—that which is worth reading, of course—takes people out of the confines of their natural myopia and parochialism and enriches them immeasurably. It can transport people to past times, distant places, wondrous experiences and unexpected emotions. It can stimulate the imagination, sharpen the mind, strengthen the memory, induce contemplation and inculcate noble sympathies. It allows people to sit and listen to the most brilliant minds, teachers, ideas and speeches that have ever existed, no matter what languages they—or we—actually spoke or speak. It can take people to necessary escapes, relaxing fantasies, to imaginary worlds or, by contrast bring them face-to-face with bitter truth and make them mindful of the inexorable, eternal present moment. In short, it can teach people priceless knowledge about themselves, about the world and about reality itself.

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Mortimer Adler on How to Read a Book

Mortimer Adler is one of my favourite twentieth century philosophers. My encounter with his writings began with his best selling ‘How to Read a Book’ first published in 1940. Since then, (not in 1940) I have collected any book of his that I can get my hands on. My annual trip to Haye-on-Wye has Mortimer Adler on the top of my book list and many others are in my Amazon wish list. I wrote the following as a handout for a class I gave on ‘How to Read a Book’ and I reproduce it here for the benefit of all. Continue reading →