Meditation 2.19.19 - A Pen and Ink Tangle
I just started reading "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbons, and practically everyone is asking "how" I read such books.
Tackling big books is a challenge, but one worth undertaking, because I think it is these books that truly dig into human nature. Most are beautiful stories.
The first requirement one needs to tackle Western literature's tomes is one needs to love to read, if you don't really love to read, then big books aren't for you. If you have to read one, or would like to get in on the humor, I recommend reading the Cliff notes version as well as the Goodreads quotes. While not the same as reading the book, it will at least get you through the story.
The second thing you need to do when tackling one of the larger books is to give yourself enough time. Don't rush the reading, the books are generally just as heavy in topic as they are in weight and trying to plow through multiple chapters is exhausting and that can make you give up on the book. Instead, try to commit to one chapter a day.
Finally, give yourself plenty of "brain candy" books to switch over to. Picking books which don't require a great deal of thought and have really easily carried stories are the best ones to accompany one of the "Great Works".