Friday, June 24, 2011

it's the ideas, not the books

As someone who loves to read and own books, I found this paragraph from a post on ebooks to be particularly succinct at naming the goal of any reader or booklover.
I once was an avid reader of a particular subgenre of science fiction, the “new wave” of the 60s and early 70s. At one point I probably owned a thousand or so titles from the era. Those books meant a lot to me, and even though I wasn’t planning to read them again I had a vague notion that I would pass them on as a legacy to my kids. But about twenty years ago I changed my mind and tossed out all but a few. Why? For one thing, I no longer thought such writing was suitable for young readers. More important, though, I realized that passing along the books wasn’t an effective way of passing along what they meant to me. Better to talk with my kids about what I had learned, and then give them the opportunity to chart their own memorable path through the literary landscape, unhindered by any expectations of mine.

It is not the amount of books which allows you to have something worthwhile to leave for others. It is the wisdom gained from the constant reading that needs to be shared and passed on to the next generation. Wisdom is knowledge properly understand and implemented. While knowledge of history(for example) is extremely important, it is the understanding of various worldviews which enables you to correctly interpret the actions and ideas of said historical events. The articulated wisdom is your legacy, not the books by themselves.
The advice on how to do this? "Better to talk with my kids about what I had learned."

from Rick on the current shortcomings of ebooks

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