Yesterday, I was listening to a wise, old medicine man who made a statement that literally made me pause. He basically said that he doesn’t read books because they hinder living, and that learning happens by living, not by reading. As an avid reader, initially, I took offense, but the more I thought about it, the more I could understand his point. I don’t believe that books are inherently bad for you, but I do think reading too much can be an addiction like anything else. There’s nothing wrong with the occassional venture into a different world, to be entertained or to learn about something new and different, but when you’d rather read about it than experience it yourself, there inlies the problem. Life is about living, not just sitting on the side lines observing.
Personally, I’ve found that I’m a binge reader. I even have Audible so I can multi-task, for goodness sakes. At times I do feel like, “OK, my knowledge bucket is full and it’s time to put these lessons in action,” but instead I pick up another book and start the “learning process” all over again. There comes a point when you have to ask yourself, “Is all this reading working for me or is it preventing me from living my life?” It sounds deep, but anything, even reading, can become a distraction from doing the things that take you to the next level.
So, my answer to the question, “Can you read too much?” is I don’t know. I can see both sides of the story, and have experienced both evolution and stagnation at the hands of great books. I leave you to answer the question for yourself. Share your thoughts with me.