Discernment and Memory

“‘You see,’ he explained, ‘I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.'”

Sherlock Holmes speaking to Dr. Watson

A Study In Scarlet

Arthur Conan Doyle


“On these grounds Hugh particularly insists that the student of reading cultivate the virtue of humility: ‘For the reader there are three lessons taught by humility that are particularly important: First, that he hold no knowledge or writing whatsoever in contempt. Second, that he not blush to learn from any man. Third, that when he has attained learning himself, he not look down upon anyone else.’ Armed with this humility, the reader can safely pursue the wisdom to be gained from reading; the reader can become a true student.”

The Pleasures Of Reading In An Age Of Distraction

Alan Jacobs


Now that I have this space, I am not certain what to do with it. I would like to be more well-read, but that takes time. Starting out, this may be an online journal, a commonplace book, a log of favorite quotes, or a combination of all those.

Why “Casual Reader?” Although I like to challenge myself now and then with what I choose to read, I enjoy light-hearted entertainment reading, too. Some of the judgemental gatekeeping in Literary Social Media is just annoying. I am very much a “mood reader” and hold to the philosophy of reading what brings one joy.