Reading Contemplatively

Whatever truth you have chosen, read only a small portion of it, endeavouring to taste and digest it, to extract the essence and substance thereof, and proceed no farther while any savour or relish remains in the passage: when this subsides, pick up your book again and proceed as before, seldom reading more than half a page at a time, for it is not the quantity that is read, but the manner of reading, that yields us profit . . .

. . . If while reading, you feel yourself recollected, lay aside the book and remain in stillness; at all times read but little, and cease to read when you’re thus internally attracted.

Madame Guyon in A Short and Easy Method of Prayer


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  1. This is lovely advice. If we followed it, we might read a book a year….or maybe get through proverbs in a lifetime…


    I crave books. I hoard them and save them and hope to read them all one day…

    Perhaps I’ve read enough for a lifetime…

    I’ve given up reading for a time….or reading “Spiritual” books. At least for now.
    I was taking myself and it all far too seriously.