Quality Over Quantity

Reading ten good books fives times is better than reading fifty mediocre books once. Who hasn’t heard such tune of quality-over-quantity?

I’m realizing something different now. I have recently had an epiphany.

In this age of information overload and short attention span, reading ten good books five times is better than reading even fifty good books once.

Every time one reads a good book again one learns something new out of it. (If you haven’t read a good book more than once, you really should to fully understand this.) One would imbibe and retain more wisdom by reading a good book multiple times than by reading it just once. If it was to be followed up by a constant stream of new material, even good material, good luck with retaining any of it.

Knowledge or wisdom derived by reading something once is hard to retain. Hence, one who has read ten good books five times would have more practical knowledge and wisdom than the one who has read fifty good books but once.

By extension, the same applies to watching films, or traveling places, or pretty much any self enhancing experience.

Take traveling for example. By visiting a great place multiple times one creates a bond with the place, the people; understands the local culture, the language; becomes aware of their ways, their fears, their strengths. It is then that one can be said to have fully experienced the place.

It is not possible to fully experience a place, or create a bond with it, in a single visit. Even if it is a great place. The bond created in the aforedescribed way is what soothes the soul of a traveler. Mere traveling – without  creating the bond – is rambling. Hence, one who has visited ten places multiple times in life is better traveled than the one who has traveled great places through the entire world. If one hasn’t created the bond, one has just rambled.

Apply this to any self enhancing experience. The same phenomenon exists.

In this age, we have abundance of experiences, which is a good thing. Except that it has crippled us of fully experiencing anything.

I hope more people realize this.



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