NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I Think I'm In Big Trouble . . .

Peter and I just signed up for Amazon Prime. That means for $79, we get two-day shipping on nearly every book we order at no extra cost for a whole year. And overnight shipping for 3.99. And 1-Click shopping. Easy shopping in my jammies! Yup. I'm in trouble. :-)

In the meantime, I am working away at The Faerie Queene. I got totally confused in Book One, Canto 5 last night, but thanks to my handy dandy reading guide, I'm back on track. The nice thing is that the poem is gorgeous even when you're thinking, "Huh? What just happened? How did we get here?"

My two Chapters in How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization were fun to read though! The current topic is "How To Think About Learning." In the chapter "How To Read A Book", he taps into ideas like the difference between reading for pleasure and reading to learn. When we read for pleasure, we may learn something accidentally or incidentally, but it is not intentional. When we read to learn, we can approach it on two levels. The first is reading for information or facts. The second is reading for enlightenment, which requires a lot more work on the reader's part. There, of course, is much more detail in the book, but I can't give it all away. :-)

In the following chapter, "How To Talk", he tackles discussion with others. Again, there are two types of discussion, for pleasure and to learn. I thought the most interesting part of this section was his rules for discussion. He goes into detail on all of these, but here is the outline:

10 Rules For Conducting A Discussion

External Rules:

1) Pick the right occasion
2) Pick the right people

Intellectual Rules:

3) Be relevant
4) Don't take things for granted
5) Try to avoid arguing fallaciously
6) Don't agree or disagree with the other person until you understand what that person has said
7) If, after understanding the other person, you do disagree, state your disagreement specifically and give reasons why

Emotional Rules:

8) Keep your emotions in place
9) Catch yourself or the other person getting angry
10) If you can't control your emotions, at least beware of the results of emotional disorder

(From How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization by Mortimer J. Adler)

Sounds easy, right? I bet I break just about every one of these rules daily. :-) He also talks about the importance of asking good questions and understanding if a question is a question of fact or a question of interpretation. For example, is the question "did something happen" or is the question "was what happened good"?

I know some of this is common sense, but honestly, I never gave too much thought to any of this before, and it's somewhat embarrassing to admit that. I feel like I'm being subtly reprimanded for being so intellectually frivolous. But I'm OK with that. A little reprimanding was in order. Maybe it will straighten me out! :-)

Tonight's topic asks if we can truly learn from watching television. Hmmmm. . .


Michele said...

I think I should print these rules out and tape them on the fridge. Mr. RR and I could seriously benefit from them! :)

Lezlie said...

Michele ~ I was thinking I should have had them and passed them out at Thanksgiving when the "discussion" turned to politics. :-) Seriously though, I think a lot of us could benefit from these in our daily lives.


Anonymous said...

Is there a section on how to leave good comments on book review blogs? Just wondering... This really does look like fun - are you reading for enlightenment or pleasure with this? (I really don't mean to sound so sarcastic! eek!)

Lezlie said...

BkClubCare ~ Nope. No help in that quarter. :-) I'm going for enlightenment with this one. I'm even taking notes!


Teddy Rose said...

Lezlie I have an award for you on my blog:

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I remember reading parts of The Fairie Queene a few years ago and it was a lot of work!! One day maybe I'll tackle it again. Until then, I'll just admire you. :)

Lezlie said...

Thanks so much, Teddy!

Trish ~ Aw, shucks. :-) It is work though. It takes me about half an hour to read 10 pages!


Heather said...

It's taking me a half hour to read one page!! I'm really having trouble with it. I may have to breakdown and buy the reading guide. Can you email me with the link to the site you bought it from? (nutellaqueen at hotmail)

Lezlie said...

Heather ~ I just emailed you. Let me know if you don't get it. The reading guide really helps a lot!