Friday, January 6, 2012

People don't read anymore :(

I have been wandering around book stores recently, and stumbled upon the Landmark Herodotus. If you recall, I wrote a few posts on Herodotus.

People ought to be reading the text, and produce their own notes, producing a similar result (as Landmark) which is personalized.

Don't mistake me: I think Landmark is a wonderful resource! It has helped with maps, and so on...but people should be doing this on their own.

The problem Landmark posed (to me) parallels Cliff Notes. The books are produced as an example of how to take notes while reading books...not a replacement for reading!

Extemporaneously producing maps is an invaluable skill. The map doesn't have to be precise, e.g. drawing Asia minor as a rectangle, or Greece as three rectangles.

There are some elements to, e.g., the Landmark Herodotus that are pleasant, and makes it a great resource to borrow from. For example: what did Herodotus get wrong?

It appears that he got a lot of Egyptian history wrong, for example.

But my point is: reading is studying! You have to make a book your own through notes, maps, references to other books, etc.

How you study is entirely up to you; how you take notes, well, that is entirely up to you. But reading without taking notes is like dancing: nobody does it unless drunk or insane.

People just confuse the mechanics of reading (parsing letters into words) with the procedure called "reading" (obtaining information from books, and evaluating it). *sigh*

P.S. Happy New Year!

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