Rediscovering the Pleasure of Reading

I am at the lake now, sitting on the deck, listening to music and drinking a glass of sangria. This morning I kayaked and fished. Later today I will sail. In between (after I finish this post) I will read. Reading has, over the past 6 months, become one of my favorite activities. I have averaged 1-2 books each week over that period. Prior to that I had not read a book for several years. All of my reading was work-related, not for pleasure.

So what happened? It started with me wanting to learn about some new concepts that became important to our family. I quickly read two books in that subject area. I was hooked. I was learning again, about subjects having nothing to do with my legal profession.

I renewed my long dormant library card. I now go to the library 2-3 times each month. I check out hard cover books. I check out audio books to listen to in the car. I download library books on my iPad, using the Kindle app. I read and listen to them all. I think about what I read, as I am reading it. This may be par for the course for most of you but it is relatively new to me.

What am I reading? Right now, philosophy has caught my attention. The logical arguments and thought experiments fascinate me. I am learning about Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant. I avoided this stuff like the plague when I was studying engineering. I didn’t know what I was missing.

Philosophy has great application to baby boomers who tend to contemplate late in life issues such as “what does it all mean” and, of course, death. That caused me to start taking a course on the philosophy of death offered online – for free – by Yale University. It is great fun to learn from a skilled professor who can’t call on you, assign you a paper, or give you a test! When I finish the course (7 lectures completed, 15 to go), I will probably write a post or two about it. You are not afraid to talk about death are you?

If you have lost touch with reading for pleasure I recommend that you try to recapture it. Take a trip to the library. You may find it to be one of your new favorite places.


  1. Margaret says

    Hi, Mr. Goto,
    I took a free online course with Yale a couple of years ago – Literary Theory – it was a video course and remains one of the best classes I’ve ever taken. Thanks for your recent posts about online learning.

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