Your books received posts always make me think of how much one in a field such as yours is required to read and is wanting to read to keep up with recent development and now I am finally asking: Do you read all the books you received until the next books received post? If so, do you think this is a lot of books in comparison to others you know? What would you say is a “normal” or needed threshold to keep up? I am always anxious that I am not doing enough, that’s why I’m asking. If you’re going to answer my question: Thanks in advance!
I haven’t read every book I own, but I do read most of them fairly soon after buying/receiving them, and usually keep those unread on specific shelves to work through. I often get hold of books in advance of a project – so the Gottmann ones for a small piece I’m writing on him; Sartre for an idea I have that I may or may not develop; Hegel for a possible collaborative project. So this means when I do come to the project I already have a stack of available things to read. But I see book buying as building up a working library too – not just of books read once and then filed, but books I have to refer to when writing pieces or lectures.
As to how much reading is enough, that’s hard to answer. One good indicator I’ve found is when reading on a topic to look at the bibliographies of things you’ve read. At the beginning of research on a topic there will be loads of related pieces you’ll think you should read. As you move through the reading, you’ll begin to look at bibliographies and realise you’ve already read, or looked at, the things in there. That’s when you start to feel on top of the literature. I think I do read a lot compared to many people, but there are always things others have read I haven’t, and there is so much out there, especially given the range of things I’m interested in.
Hope that helps a bit.
Thanks, that helps indeed. Especially your tip of taking the bibliographies of ones books as an indicator should help anticipating the “read load” that is still needed in the future.
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