Today, with so much reading, people end up like tape recorders, filling up their cassettes with superfluous matters. According to Abba Isaac, however, wisdom not based on righteous activity is a deposit of disgrace. You see, many who are interested in sports read sports magazines and newspapers while they are sitting. They may be like the fatted calf, but they still marvel at athletes … they gain nothing … the same thing is done by people who read spiritual books. They may spend the whole night reading spiritual books with great intensity and be content. They take a spiritual book, sit comfortably, and begin reading. “Oh, I profited from that,” they say. It would be better to say, “I enjoyed myself, I spent my time pleasantly.” But this is not profit. We profit when we understand what we read, when we censure ourselves and discipline ourselves by applying it: “What does this mean? Where do I stand in relation to this spiritual truth? What must I do now?”
— Elder Paisios the Athonite
Stolen from Fr Josiah’s blog.