Learning to Love Reading

Here is a really good article that I would like to share with you all about reading in which the author speaks to something that resonates with my experience: Do not read like a student!

Interestingly enough throughout high school and perhaps more so in college I dreaded reading like the plague. It was synonymous with homework which meant it was also synonymous with stress; and no one likes stress! Some of the topics of the reading assigned to me I may have found interesting, despite the weight of my grade point average which hinged on the pages, but by and large reading was just a means to an end: passing a class. I was reading to finish, and in most cases it was just a bore. A task. Homework.

But perhaps six months after graduation from college I started reading on my own, for no reason in particular. I remember reading All the Light We Cannot See (an unsatisfactory World War II novel), followed by Unbroken (the excellent biography of Louis Zamperini), followed by Rebel Yell (a biography on the military career of Stonewall Jackson). And before I knew it, I was hooked as I discovered a love for reading: particularly historical nonfiction. I was no longer reading begrudgingly out of duty or reading merely to transfer facts to the temporal lobe of my brain. Freed from the shackles of obligation I was reading for fun. I was also making amazon.com book reviews for fun.

What has really been interesting for me has been going back to reread books that I read in college. I remember reading Os Guinness’s “The Call” for mandatory freshman reading during my first months at Grace College, and what a bore! It felt like that book would never end. And yet six months ago I read it again, and it has to be one of my favorite books I have read to date (also requiring another read in the future).

Now there is a lot to glean here about human motivation, but perhaps more simply I would like to encourage you (and myself included) to keep reading. If you find yourself bored with books in general, perhaps you are reading to narrowly. Pick up a book from a different genre, different author, or even a different perspective; stretch yourself with something new you may have never tried before. Above all, stop reading like a student and read like a reader. You might discover yourself no longer reading words, but once again lost in them.

“I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson


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