The title is inspired by the famous song "Too Loud A Solitude" by the singer Zheng Xing, which, in turn, draws inspiration from the novel "Too Loud A Solitude" by one of the Czech literary greats, Bohumil Hrabal. The protagonist in the book, Hanja, is an old worker in the Prague paper mill. Despite doing the most undesirable job, he finds solace during work by reading numerous books and transforming them into his exclusive "works" (compressed into waste paper blocks), which becomes the source of his life. Today, let's chat about reading over a cup of coffee.


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Speaking of reading, the editor recalls the last polymath in the contemporary intellectual circle, Susan Sontag, who passed away a few years ago. Born into the intellectual circle in New York, she immersed herself in books from a young age. The bookshelf became her sanctuary, a place to catch her breath, laying the foundation for her immortal status in the New York literary criticism scene.

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Another renowned bookworm that comes to mind is the late American anthropologist Marshall Sahlins, who, with his classical education and extensive knowledge of ethnography worldwide, demonstrated unparalleled expertise in his works. From Western classical literature to obscure ethnographic works, he wove them into masterpieces in his writings.

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In our childhood, we often heard teachers advising us, "Reading ten thousand books is not as good as traveling ten thousand miles." However, with travel becoming easier in the age of globalization, how many people have truly embarked on adventurous journeys? Travel destinations have turned into resorts and Instagram-worthy spots, or packaged as "in-depth cultural trips," but besides taking photos, what have we truly learned?

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The editor believes that a true cultural journey must be backed by knowledge, and we should be our own guides. Before traveling, the homework we need to do is not just planning transportation routes but also learning about the place through written records—its history, unique culture. Later, through our own eyes, we can explore things that words cannot describe.

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The saying "Reading ten thousand books is not as good as traveling ten thousand miles" should serve as a reminder to those who have already read ten thousand books. Blindly traveling ten thousand miles won't teach us anything meaningful, so we must remind each other. If we hope to gain a better understanding of this chaotic world, our first step should be to find ways to read ten thousand books.

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