“You must linger among a limited number of master thinkers, and digest their works, if you would derive ideas which shall win firm hold in your mind. Everywhere means nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends.”Seneca, Letters From a Stoic
I can remember where I was when I first heard this quote, walking down Blackwood St to the train station and off to work. It has stuck with me and I consider it as I choose what to read next.
While I do not yet practice what Seneca advises, it has led me to re-read a few key books. In the re-read you get something different out of the book. You get a new level of detail.
Of course, the books need have more substance to them. Some books are too light to warrant a second reading. And that begs the question on whether you should have picked the book in the first place.
It is also a challenge to look for the master thinkers on a topic and to read everything they have to say in that area. This is a strategy I use when selecting books for my reading list.
I took this line of thought down into books, but I like the travel example as well. Consider who much of a place you really see when you “travel” … how could you better experience a different culture when you travel?