posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 02:26 AM
It's the best consciousness-expanding exercise anyone can possibly undertake.
Read literary classics: Homer and Dante, Conrad and Dostoevsky, Flaubert and Tolstoy, Joyce and Proust, Faulkner and Hemingway, Bellow and Nabokov.
Read quality modern fiction: Amis, Updike, de Lillo, Byatt, Self.
Read superior science fiction: JG Ballard, Iain M Banks, Philip K. Dick, Gene Wolfe.
Read poetry: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, the Romantics, the moderns.
Read history: Gibbon, Spengler, Bullock, Toynbee, Armesto-Hernandez.
Read philosophy: Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Aquinas, Locke, Hobbes, Hegel, Kant, Russell, Popper.
Read about science: Darwin, Clarke, Sagan, Dawkins, Hawking.
Read about art: Apollinaire, Ruskin, Empson, Steiner, Hughes.
Read the great travellers: Burton, Lawrence, Thesiger.
Read all you can about every subject that catches your fancy. The trick is to pick the best writers, so that everything you read is interesting. There
are plenty of guides to help you get started, but eventually you will have to form your own taste.
And read books, not pixels on a screen. The Internet is the source of incredible amounts of error, stupidity and intellectual poison, second
only to TV in its malefic effect. Read printed words on paper. It's not a guarantee of quality (not by any means) but the intermediation of a
publisher usually means there is at least some quality control.
It is too obvious to mention that comics, "graphic novels", newsstand magazines and things like Time and Newsweek are no good? I'll
mention it anyway. To keep up with current affairs, read the Economist or something of equivalent quality.
Unplug your TV. Make a promise to yourself that you will never watch the stupid thing again -- what does it do for you, anyway? Throw it in the trash.
I promise you your consciousness will soon expand to the point where it makes you a different and vastly better person.
[edit on 18-10-2006 by Astyanax]