Employing a real book strategy
Saturday, July 8, 2017
How Should One Read A Book?
Do we ever think about the reading process and how it impacts our understanding, appreciation or use of a book?
Look at the many factors that play a role in our reading:
1. Do we read the book over time or in a short burst?
2. Do we read it and discuss with others who have read it – perhaps in a book club, classroom setting, or online forum?
3. Do we read it and apply what’s in the book to our own lives and experiences?
4. Do we compare it to other books that we’ve read?
5. Do we read only as a filler – while on a line, in the bathroom, or because we are in between appointments – or do we seek out reading time that’s uninterrupted, under a comfortable setting?
6. Are we reading a book that we chose – or was chosen/recommended by another?
7. Do we feel obligated to finish a book that we started but see early on that we don’t care for?
8. Are we reading books that challenge us, that take us into worlds, places or times that are unfamiliar to us – or do we stick with what’s familiar, even worn?
9. Are you reading a new book, an old book, or a book you’ve read before?
10. Are you reading a book simply because it’s a best-seller or from an author that you like or because of peer pressure?
So many things can influence the enjoyment gained from the books that we read. We let too many distractions and influences corrupt our reading process. With the needy call of social media and daily lives that revolve around checking our phones every 12 minutes, we struggle to read books in a way that frees us up to really immerse ourselves in their words, plots, and styles. We rush through life when the real urgency should come when we read books. Make the book your priority, not an afterthought.
Marcel Proust said: “In reality every reader is, while he is reading, the reader of his own self.”
We must meditate with our books and allow them to reveal pieces of ourselves to us. Reading books is such a spiritual event and deserving of our fullest attention. Therapists, digital media, and the constant availability of content in all its forms have kept us from fully absorbing books, discovering ourselves, and feeling inspired to live life a little better or differently from what we’ve done prior to reading a book.
If we are our books, we must give more time and focus to them. How we read is just as important as what we read.
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