Reading to Learn to NOT Repeat…

 
Ever try to buy just ONE book on Amazon.com? You can't -- especially if you enjoy reading...

Here's how it happened: I was advised that Flight of the Buffalo was a good book to read; so I did the obligatory run to my laptop, open Firefox, and power-url into Amazon.com for the quickest search for books (By the way, mega-kudos to Bezos for imagining that the online bookstore could turn into a virtual mega-mall...)...

CONTEXT: Part of my 2008 Goals is to read at least 50 NEW non-fiction books...

I loaded in my query and up popped a list of books starting at a whopping $2.75... I remember having to go to Borders and buy this type of stuff for twenty to thirty dollars a pop. Every once in a while, Walmart would have a decent book (always a paperback it seems...) that I could read. Times change...

So why read? In the age of social media - of HULU and TWITTER and NYTimes.com - it almost seems counterproductive to have to READ... Why not just absorb?

AAAAAH.....Memories......... Maybe it's the fact that I DID NOT have a television all 18 years growing up in my parent's house. Or maybe it's because my mother made us boys read at least 2 years every day in the summer (I remember reading my dad's law books at 12-years-old trying to understand the basic tenents of Blackstone). It could be my time in seminary studying Greek theology and having to read the "Ancient Texts".

Whatever the case... And certainly all of these factors come to play in the development of learning via reading, I have come to realize that READING is intellectually medicinal.

As I sat down to peruse through the Flight of the Buffalo -- deciding whether I can get some nuggets from this frosty paperback, I was struck by the following thought: that I read to learn so I don't repeat my past mistakes.

They say that history repeats itself. So if this is true, the only way to break the "curse "of making mistakes to self-educate on alternatives - not overly profound, but simplistically eloquent:

"We READ to LEARN to NOT REPEAT..."

Reading stimulates our ability to create alternative scenarios to our own understandings of causality, of failure, of awareness, of success... No social media can completely replace the value of reading quantities and qualities of information.

(Trailing Thought: I read between 500-600 articles/blog posts every day on technology, software development, lifestyles, and sales and motivation. This volume of RSS feeds could dwarf the "book per week" my goals have me targeting. How is the web affecting my knowledge gathering and demand for pertinent information? How is that volume biasing the static content I evaluate? )

(LINK to Flight of the Buffalo)