good at pretending to understand more than I did

I got pretty good at pretending to understand more than I did, a skill which has served me through life. …But I’ve developed a great reputation for wisdom by ordering more books than I ever had time to read, and reading more books, by far, than I learned anything useful from. From Gilead by Marilynne […]

choosing its truths over its defects

Charity in reading involves avoiding quick dismissal and cheap disdain, resisting the ego satisfaction of allowing a text only to confirm one’s prejudices, and seeking the good in a text, choosing its truths over its defects. From David Smith summarizing Alan Jacobs in Teaching and Christian Practices (a good book to come back to regularly).

aspiring toward a perfect attentiveness

If all great art is symbolic of a kind of moral plenitude, of conflicting attitudes and impulses explored and worked through toward some ideal clarity, the act of reading is itself a model of ideal human relations, aspiring toward a perfect attentiveness in which emotional possession and intellectual comprehension–what experience conditions us to see and […]