Categorical Reading

So this is how I read books. I’ve always sort of read books this way (I’m always reading more than one at a time), but I’ve now been able to make my categories explicit and I think this will make things a lot more coherent.

There are “Ritual” books, and there are “Leisure” books.

  • Rituals are always “repeaters,” though Leisures may be either repeaters or “non-repeaters.”
  • In order to become a repeater, a non-repeater must pass the test of Leisure reading; if it does, it may be at the very least a Leisure-repeater.
  • If after a few Leisure-repeats the book becomes Integral, it then may “graduate” to Ritual and have “tenure,” as it were.
  • All Rituals are repeaters, but not all repeaters are Rituals.
  • Rituals may serve as Leisures when/if necessary, though they are still in essence Rituals. “Natural Rituals”, in other words, may be Rituals and/or “Artificial” Leisures as needed; while “Natural Leisures” can only be Leisures. Some repeaters may never become Rituals, though they may always make great Leisures. In any case, Leisures are “safety valves.”

Thus we have always at least two books to read, one Ritual, and another Leisure. Numbers may vary, but there should be no less than two at a time, so that Ritual is always grounding Leisure—and Life—and Leisure is always providing a contrast for Ritual—and stimulating new curiosities.

Originally published at vitaephilosophiadux.blogspot.com on 15 March 2009.

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