This is so great. In particular the bit about it being an active process. Usually for me the active bit is that I have a model or a question about how something works and I'm using the textbook to try to answer that question or check my model. Often it's just fun to read new things, though, too. And yeah, unlike in college (:p) the goal now is to "actually understand" which means that sometimes I spend days on a couple of pages until it clicks. This feels good to me, like deep down spiritually good in a way I never really get when I'm speeding through podcasts. In fact I almost never listen to podcasts anymore, books are just so great!

There are a few other things that have improved my relationships to textbooks: 1) books never cost money (obviously they do, but unless it's insanely expensive I never think about money as a constraint on books, I just get whatever seems great) and 2) I have finally dropped my obsessive drive for completionism and now just pick up textbooks and roam around different chapters that look awesome.

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very well put! and ahhh completionism!! that has really addled me but I'm slowly starting to get better with it too

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This is so interesting—I have many thoughts, but "They say travel is good for depression because gets your brain out of old habits. I like to think of reading as a form of travel through idea-space, a textbook being a long roadtrip. If you’re in a rush to get somewhere you should probably fly or take a train." - love this! It's amazing, the idea that learning and practicing or seeking curiosity can help a person manage, mentally and emotionally. I'm glad it's helped you :)

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Aug 4, 2022Liked by Kasra

I love this so much as it reminds me how much and why I’m interested in reading, it’s a pathway that feed my curiosity and give me different perspective about subjects that I want to learn more, it’s a way to fulfill myself with knowing and enjoyment of exploring new things!

Thank you for sharing 💗

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can u b my neurologist n fix my brain 😍🙇‍♂️

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Love this. I've had similar observations recently as I come out of my own deep pit. I used to think that external activities were distractions from directly dealing with my internal strife, but I now see that they are sometimes the exact thing you need. Having something tangible to work on (like puzzling over basic statistical stuff, learning new songs on the guitar) has helped keep me afloat when I may have otherwise spent the time loathing myself. It hasn't and won't solve everything (still figuring out the meaningful work and friendship bits of my life) but it certainly lightens the load and shows you that the door of possibility is always there. I'm reminded of a few lines from a poem I love by David Whyte, Just Beyond Yourself:

Just beyond


It’s where

you need

to be.

Half a step



and the rest


by what

you’ll meet.

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this is such a beautiful poem, and I really resonate with your point about lightening the load and helping you stay afloat. appreciate you Phil ❤️

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