By I.M. Soni

There is a great deal of difference,” says G.K. Chesterton, “Between the eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who needs a book to read.”

‘The mind is like the body’, writes Fulton J. Sheen, “It must be nourished.” For the mind’s nourishment, reading is essential. Just as bodies feed on foods, minds feed on minds. Reading is a way of feeding your own mind upon a mind richer than your own. Read a good book and you grow with its richness. All energies of the mind must be concentrated on the reading matter.

Read the meaning of the printed page and absorb it fully. A good book is the lighthouse which enlightens our family, college, university, school and society. It soothes the spirit, educates the heart, improves character, explores unknown lands, lead us to wisdom, piety and delight. A book is indeed one of the best friends. It does not shift about, does not speak or bother and is always at our disposal. When we open it, a treasure of goodness and wisdom springs out from its pages: good advice, sound teaching, counsels and truths for the asking.

…when you read

Tyron Edward remarks, “Think as well as read, and when you read, yield not your minds to the passive impressions which others may make upon them. Hear what they have to say, but examine it, weigh it, and judge for yourselves. This will enable you to make the right use of books to use them as helpers and guides to your understanding, as counselors not as dictators of what you have to think and believe.”

Bullet Points

  • If you are flirting with a serious book, the pages must be followed step by step. Jumping from one part to another leads to confusion, not conclusion.
  • While reading, have a pencil and a note-book to jot down the thoughts and ideas of the author. It makes reading fruitful. People who are expected to talk, instruct and educate others can profit immensely from note-taking.
  • Your success, enjoyment of recreational activities and hobbies, understanding of the world, ability to carry on an interesting conversation depends largely upon how much you learn and remember from your reading of books.
  • Successful management of the home and ability to relax and enjoy leisure can be increased by ability to read a book written for the purpose.
  • Carlyle wrote, “Make an effort to do exactly what is demanded of you by your job here and now. Man becomes more perfect by working than by reading. There are a lot of men who know how to combine both skillfully. They do what they must and what is within their reach now and get ready to do bigger things, if the opportunity presents itself.”
  • Combine profit with pleasure. Life is too short to get everything.
  • Choose you must, and as you choose, choose only the best as in friends so in books. Choose with equal care: friends and books, because they are both for life.

Don’t Be A Mediocre

As a guideline in reading, meaningful is the key factor. Books are taken on picnics, to the mountains, on vacations, to hospitals, rest-houses and prisons. Reading calls for: not much, but well. Reading puts us under the influence of another mind, the reason why discrimination in choice is needed.

 Because life is busy and time short, we cannot afford to spend it in mediocre or frivolous reading.

“There are four kinds of readers,” says Coleridge, “The first is like the hour-glass; and their reading being as the sand, it runs in and out, and leaves not a vestige behind.

 “The second is like the sponge, which imbibes everything and returns it in nearly the same state only a little dirtier.”

 “The third is like a jelly back, allowing all that is pure to pass away, and retaining only the refuse and drags.”

 “And the fourth is like the hands in the diamond mines of Golkonda, who casting aside all that is worthless, retain only pure gems.”

Which kind you choose to be, depends upon you alone. Fast reading fosters ability. The way to increase your reading speed is to try to read faster. Try to take in several words at a single glance during silent reading. Cultivate the habit of reading whole units rapidly. Attempt to find the main ideas or complete thoughts of different passages.

Try to reduce the amount of movement as you read and adjust your rate of reading to different kinds of materials. There is a difference between reading and studying. Choose the latter wherever it is possible.

In reading, as in writing, accuracy is more important than speed. A good book is one which you open with high expectation and close with deep satisfaction. #

Categories: Lifestyle