How not to read a book

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on

Can you still remember the last time you’ve read a book? If your answer is NO, then you’ve got all the reasons not to read a book.

It’s so easy not to read a book, right?

How not to read a book? By doing everything else except reading a book. That simple. Anybody can do just that. And maybe you’re already good at it too.

But the important question we should be asking ourselves is how to read a book. Why do we have to read a book, anyway? Allow me to share you my story

My father died when I was a month old. Here’s the story. Four years after his death, you can see me carrying his stack of Reader’s Digest wherever I please. You can find me in a corner with them, opening one after returning the other to the stack, or maybe scattering them all together. I was four, and I do not know how to read yet, but I keep on opening them again and again, examining the words I don’t understand (yet) at the time. The photos of those magazines enthralled me about the world bigger than a four-year-old can imagine. I was able to see people of different colors, and without prejudice, I know they’re human just like me because I see them smile like I do. That’s enough proof for me. But they are the kind of people who don’t live in the same place I live. They are people who are living continents away from where I was, but I did not understand it fully at that time.

Together with my sister, you can also find our younger selves crouching together over used books from our dear and trusty neighbor. While she reads and answers mathematical problems at age ten, you can see me enjoy every illustration, photos, and drawings of some sort. I was four.

I enjoyed all the books I’ve encountered at a young age. I’ve also experienced how the books allowed me to see so much of the world without leaving my home’s comfort. You can’t expect a four-year-old to travel alone, can you?

So let me ask you again. How not to read a book?

Forget where you started, forget your childhood.

Forget the yearning you once had when you were a kid, learning about the bigger world through others’ eyes, as written in the books they made.

Forget what it feels to learn.

That’s how not to read a book.

But to the rest of us who understood that learning through others spares us from experiencing the pains of ignorance, let us keep reading.

But here’s a warning.

Not every book makes you better a person. So, learn how to chew the meat and throw the bones.

I hope this helps.

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