Saturday, January 12, 2008

Reading -- What and How and When

I have been learning a lot recently. I am trying to read along with the group who is discussing Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. Cindy at Dominion Family is leading the discussion, or perhaps hosting would describe it better. Here is the Mr Linky list of posts from Week One. I actually compiled and printed out every single post (37 pages) and read it all and filed it in my notebook along with the printout of the Hazlitt book, hoping to get a jumpstart on it..

Anyway, this book is not very complicated to read, but it has become one of those "golden threads" that seem to lead me through all sorts of corridors and into new regions or old ones now seen differently. I hope I manage to write a post on the book in time for next week when Cindy posts Week Two, but I am a bit intimidated by the high quality of the discussion and not at all confident about my own understanding of economic theory. My husband got a minor in economics and he knows this stuff, but it has not rubbed off on me.

Over here there is a page I made last time I was following the economics golden thread. That time it started by reading Crunchy Cons (I had mixed feelings about the book). If you notice that the book list sort of fizzles out into natural home care books, there is a reason for that. For after all, economics has a human, personal, and essentially familial dimension -- the etymology is "house" and "management", after all. I think that is a key idea I am pondering as I read Hazlitt's book this time -- that economics are for man, not man for economics. But more on that probably self-evident idea later.

Back then, I got part way through Economics in One Lesson but got busy with life, I guess, and put it aside. This time I'm hoping to read it all and learn something from the other people who are reading it.

Now, an update on my learning goals.

I have already met my goal in regard to the encyclicals. I wanted to read five and I have read the following:

  1. Providentissimus Deus (on the study of Holy Scripture)
  2. Libertas (on the Nature of Human Liberty)
  3. Rerum Novarum (on economics and the state of the worker)
  4. Pascendi Dominici Gregis (on the Doctrines of the Modernists)
  5. Humani Generis (on Evolution and the origins of man)
  6. Dei Verbum (on Divine Revelation -- this is actually a Dogmatic Constitution)
  7. Fides et Ratio (on Faith and Reason)
  8. Laborem Exercens (on the Human Worker)
  9. Centesimus Annus (a reflection on Rerum Novarum at the centenary -- I haven't finished this one)
  10. Spe Salvi (on Christian Hope)
The first three are by Pope Leo XIII. I am very impressed with his writing (which sounds very inappropriately patronizing -- it is like the absurd commentary in the Bible I am reading that says that the author of Genesis shows "real literary talent". Please!). Anyway, I'm going to upgrade my encyclical resolution and promise to read at least a couple more encyclials after I finish Cent. Ann.

I am also reading through the Catholic Bible and the Catechism -- the reading plan is linked at Running River Latin School. So far I have read Genesis and the gospel of John, and the first section of the Catechism. (I am not doing it quite the way the plan has it, which is to read a bit from several different parts of the Bible in one day -- this would be a good plan for reading to the children and perhaps I may do that, but it is too difficult for me to jump around like that when I'm reading silently).

Faith asked how I find time to read and so here are some things that work for me:

  1. I do the bulk of my reading on vacation breaks. On this break I can read almost a book a day; on regular homeschool days it's probably about 30 minutes after dinner and at bedtime.
  2. I read fast on the first run through... ... and then reread the parts that are worth closer study. This helps me get through lots of books where it isn't necessary to read every single word carefully.
  3. I bring a book almost everywhere so I can read during waiting moments.... in the car, in waiting rooms.
  4. I read when I should be doing something else, like cleaning the house. (But really, sometimes it does seem like a fair trade-off -- I can clean the house tomorrow).
  5. I am not a big TV / movie/ video game person so I never watch them or do them unless my kids or husband want me to.
  6. I usually don't even spend that much time on blogging -- I only catch up on other blogs about once or twice a week, and I can usually type mine out pretty fast (well, this hasn't been true recently, but usually it is)
  7. We live in the country so there are not a whole lot of other things going on -- this has pluses and minuses, but the extra time is a plus.
There are more ideas about the why and how of making time to read over at Dominion Family.

1 comment:

lissla lissar said...

The inadvertently patronizing comment reminds me of a college classmate's Bible that had, "Bringing the light of the Reformation to Scripture!" on the front cover.