Nick Rowe appears to be getting a lot of heat for suggesting some internet commenters on economics might not really understand economics. I feel this is unfair. Books are “things to think” with and reading lots of them give you more ways to think and help you understand how other people think.
Under no circumstances will reading something critically be harmful to you. Everyday the stock of the world’s knowledge expands more rapidly than you can learn, we are all getting relatively more ignorant, but you can try to keep up. In terms of opportunity cost there may be better ways of spending your time (as the below book review indicates) but with an open and critical mind it can only make you stronger so please people don’t get offended.
Now I’ve studied a lot of economics, and more importantly economic history, but I’ve never read more than a few chapters from an undergrad textbook. Despite owning a copy of Krugman/Wells I haven’t finished it, so as I hand my dissertation in at the end of the month I’m going to take Nick’s advice, cover to cover one Sunday, in a park somewhere, with cider.