Studied vs Read

I’m taking a class this semester on Marshall McLuhan, who I will admit not knowing prior to class (sorry Chris). On reading his chapter of the photograph, my thoughts kept wandering away after every sentence and I found myself re-reading many of his statements multiple times. Now this might seem obvious to you, but I wasn’t “reading” McLuhan, I was “studying” him to gain a deeper understanding. In contrast, I “read” Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers, where a cursory glance allows me a high level understanding of the points he’s trying to make. This distinction might either seem nuanced or down right obvious, but the next time you ask someone if they’ve read XXX author, think about what that means, and what it implies in terms of their deep understanding.

One response to “Studied vs Read

  1. This makes good sense, nice. Part of your point seems to be not that one is better than the other but that there is a distinction between the two. That said, I’m more of a reader, though I’m trying harder to be a better studier. I may have to steal a little bit of this for my own blog sometime.

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