AN UNCOMMON THOUGHT

"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

13 July 2017

Depend.


Nothing about reading, or listening to Mozart sonatas, or viewing paintings by Raphael necessarily transforms or even improves someone's character. As the eighteenth-century scientist G. C. Lichtenberg once wrote, "A book is like a mirror: if an ass looks in, you can't expect an apostle to look out." Nevertheless, I am going to argue that if you really want to become a better person, there are ways in which reading can help. But the degree to which that happens will depend not just on what you read, but also why and how.

Alan Jacobs, from The Pleasures of Reading in a Age of Distraction

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