I don’t know where this reaction comes from, but I can say without hesitation that I’ve always treasured the time I spend reading on my own, and pondering new ideas.
Why do I enjoy self-learning?
I think that deep inside, I’m a fairly solitary person, with a strong sense of self-reliance, personal pride and curiosity. Something in my gut may compel me to feel that other people actually get in the way between me and the information I want.
However, I’m not a hermit or a recluse. I like to communicate with others, but it seems that communicating on my own schedule or terms (i.e. asynchronously) seems to suit me the best.
An irony of this “lone learner” ethos is that once I have achieved something from my own investigations, I feel a strong need to share it with others.
Famous Self-Taught People
This page lists famous Self-Taught People through history, including such luminaries as Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Dickens, through to modern influential thinkers and business people.
Wikipedia’s article on Autodidacticism gives a good overview of the meaning and impact of self-learning in different disciplines, and its development through the industrial ages.