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A book is a literary compass that has the potential to direct our thoughts and actions:

"Everything we read stimulates our mind to think, and what we think determines what we desire, and desires are the seedbed of our actions. Given this iron law of human nature--from reading to thinking, to desiring, to acting--we are shaping our destiny by the ideas we choose to have enter our minds through print." - Fr. John Hardon, S.J., The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan

Welcome to my own personal exploration of life through reading the great books of the world.

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"Every soul that uplifts itself uplifts the world." --Elisabeth Leseur

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Friday, March 23, 2007

How to Find Time to Read

Not enough hours in the day for you to read? Take a look at this excerpt from David McCullough's 1999 commencment address to the University of Connecticut (and listen to a short audio clip here):
Reportedly the average American watches 28 hours of television every week, or approximately four hours a day. The average person, I'm told, reads at a rate of 250 words per minute.

So, based on these statistics, were the average American to spend those fours a day with a book, instead of watching television, the average American could, in a week, read:
  • The complete poems of T.S. Eliot;
  • Two plays by Thornton Wilder, including Our Town;
  • The complete poems of Maya Angelou;
  • Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury;
  • The Great Gatsby; and
  • The Book of Psalms.
That's all in one week.

If the average American were to forsake television for a second week, he or she could read all of Moby Dick, including the parts about whales, and make a good start, if not finish, The Brothers Karamazov.

Could you imagine the change that would take place if everyone substituted reading for television viewing? We're about a month away from TV-Turnoff Week, and if you're like me you've got a whole shelf full of books you want to read and precious little time to get to them. Why not go without TV for an entire week and see how much reading you can fit in?

For more about the effects of television on our culture, see these books:

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posted by Nick Senger at 5:58 AM

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