Nietzsche on Bad Readers

Respect the mustache

What kind of reader are you?  Is there such a thing as a bad reader?  This guy thinks so:

A reader is doubly guilty of bad manners against the author when he praises his second book at the expense of the first (or vice versa) and then asks the author to be grateful for that.
Have you ever been guilty of this?  Ever compared two or more of an author’s works, and found one wanting?  Are books their own entities?  Do they deserve their own association-free critique?  Do they exist in a vacuum?  Is this bad?
It could be worse:
The worst readers are those who proceed like plundering soldiers; they pick up a few things they can use, soil and confuse the rest, and blaspheme the whole.
Do we read like this?  Is it so bad?  Lately I have been guilty of speed reading; I have the attention span of a first-grader on espresso.
The ‘stache would not approve.
Both Friedrich Nietzsche, from “Mixed Opinions and Maxims,” 1879.

2 thoughts on “Nietzsche on Bad Readers

  1. D2, I think you’d enjoy Adler’s How To Read a Book. It’s about being a more demanding reader. And you can’t discuss that without discussing a bad reader is.

    A great read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *