Okay, so in response to Chapter 25 of How to Read like a Professor, there's a line that reads "don't read with your eyes."
In a way, this sums up what this whole book is shooting for. To understand a text that takes place outside of our own lives, as so many of them do, we need to understand the context that exists in and around that text.
We can't really appreciate the timelessness and prodding of Kafka's The Trial if we don't understand what he's shooting for. I'm drawing a blank right now for other relatable texts, but the point is, sometimes if we take things for simple face value, we're going to miss out on some of the priceless gems underneath.
This is why it's important to study the time period around the text. Woolf's bashing of Mr. Ramsay isn't the same without us understanding that Philosophy as a whole was near collapse while she was writing To the Lighthouse.
As artists and as lovers of art, we need to be constantly open to new and old ideas. Because without ideas, we as a whole are limited to our current state as individuals.