From time immemorial it has been commonly understood that the best way to acquire knowledge was to read. That is not true. Reading is only one way to knowledge, and in the writer’s opinion, not the best way. But you can surely learn from reading if you read in the proper manner. What you read is important, but not all important. How you read is the main consideration. For if you know how to read, there’s a world of education even in the newspapers, the magazines, on a single billboard or a stray advertising dodger. The secret of good reading is this: read critically! Somebody wrote that stuff you’re reading. It was a definite individual, working with a pen, pencil or typewriter — the writing came from his mind and his only. If you were face to face with him and listening instead of reading, you would be a great deal more critical than the average reader is. Listening, you would weigh his personality; you would form some judgment about his truthfulness, his ability. But reading, you drop all judgment, and swallow his words whole — just as if the act of printing the thing made it true! If you must read in order to acquire knowledge, read critically. Believe nothing till it’s understood, till it’s clearly proven.