Arthur Schopenhauer

"On Books And Writing"

"The art of not reading is a very important one. It consists in not taking an interest in whatever may be engaging the attention of the general public at any particular time. When some political or ecclesiastical pamphlet, or novel, or poem is making a great commotion, you should remember that he who writes for fools always finds a large public. -- A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short."

The World As Will And Idea

"What is true and genuine would more easily gain room in the world if it were not that those who are incapable of producing it are also sworn to prevent it from succeeding. This fact has already hindered and retarded, when indeed it has not choked, many a work that should have been of benefit to the world."

Parerga And Paralipomena

"Now with regard to great minds, it is quite natural for these real teachers of the entire human race to feel as little inclined to frequent association with others as for schoolmasters to join in the games of the boisterous and noisy crowds of children who surround them. They have come into the world to lead mankind across the sea of error into the haven of truth and to draw it from the dark abyss of its coarseness and vulgarity up into the light of culture and refinement...they must live among men and women without, however, really belonging to them."

"On Learning & The Learned"

"Students and scholars of all kinds and of every age aim, as a rule, only at information, not insight. They make it a point of honour to have information about everything, every stone, plant, battle, or experiment and about all books, collectively and individually. It never occurs to them that information is merely a means to insight, but in itself is of little or no value...With the impressive erudition of those great pundits, I sometimes say to myself: 'Ah, how little they must have had to think about, to have been able to read so much!'"

Parerga And Paralipomena

"To buy books would be a good thing if we could also buy the time to read them; but the purchase of books is often mistaken for the assimilation and mastering of their contents. To expect that a man should have retained all that he had ever read is like expecting him to carry about in his body all that he had ever eaten."

Parerga And Paralipomena

"If you want to earn the gratitude of your own age you must keep in step with it. But if you do that you will produce nothing great. If you have something great in view you must address yourself to posterity: only then, to be sure, you will probably remain unknown to your contemporaries; you will be like a man compelled to spend his life on a desert island and there toiling to erect a memorial so that future seafarers shall know he once existed."

"Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. This is an error of the intellect as inevitable as that error of the eye which lets us fancy that on the horizon heaven and earth meet. This explains many things, and among them the fact that everyone measures us with his own standard -- generally about as long as a tailor’s tape, and we have to put up with it: as also that no one will allow us to be taller than himself -- a supposition which is once for all taken for granted."