Chapter 19

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Among the things that you should do once in a while is to read a book. Preferably an older book, which will give you some experience with attitudes and interpretations that you won't get in everyday life. If everything that you know is from the everyday life of your own time, you don't know very much. Your knowledge is very thin. You don't know where things came from and why they are. This is probably why adolescents tend to run liberal -- they don't realize that things evolved to be what they are. They think that everything is arbitrary.

You don't have to finish a book. I tried many times to read Jane Austen. I just couldn't get through it. No harm done. I've had the experience. Besides, a lot of the time, especially in nonfiction, the author pretty much says all that he wanted to say in the first third of the book, so if you bail out halfway through, realizing that the well has run dry, good for you.

It might even be better if you read the first half of twice as many books. Once in a while you'll come across one that engages you to the end, and that's gravy.