The Importance Reading
How should we read?
It is believed that reading can provide you with the life experiences of the author of the book you are reading, which implies that if you read one hundred books of different authors, you can have knowledge about one hundred individuals’ experiences with life. Precisely, reading is an activity that enriches your mind, broadens your vision, boosts your knowledge, gives you experience, motivates your body, fans your ambition, triggers your emotions, maintains your health and leads you towards a life that you desire to live.
However, reading, sorrowfully, is accorded negligible importance. In the contemporary world, it is increasingly becoming an involved phenomenon and is being replaced by visuals, Power Point presentations, audio listening, etc. Predominantly, in a less-educated milieu, people believe that listening is an effective means of communication and all that measures up to their needs regarding understanding of a language. Although it’s partly true that the main purpose of learning any language as a means of communication can be fulfilled by learning how to speak it with the help of listening, yet there is substantial need of learning how to read for reading has larger scope and is more effective and powerful instrument.
Reading is one of the four strategies used for learning a language. As much same and necessary is listening for speaking any language; for writing, it is reading. In other words, listening is a reflection of spoken words whereas reading is that of whatsoever is written. A paramount difference between listening and reading is that the former lacks the authenticity and veracity of an argument as a spoken word has tendency to be distorted, the latter, on the other hand, is fully authentic, can be challenged anywhere, as a written word in normal circumstances cannot easily be watered down.
You might wonder what makes reading so much difficult and uninteresting that people have switched over to other means of learning. You might have questions puzzling your mind as to why reading, despite a deluge of benefits that can be gained from it, has failed to attract common people. Many people neither read nor do they take interest in reading because it seems to them an uphill task. This piece aims to adumbrate clearly and concisely what reading entails and how the art of reading should be mastered.
Reading is a complex process involving decoding, understanding, interpreting and, in some cases, retaining a written piece. It is by reason of its complexity that writing requires strenuous efforts to be digested in a way as intended; as pursuant to a popular belief it is too often misunderstood by readers. Reading implies undivided attention and befitting rudimentary knowledge, without which a reader’s mind deviates from the actual meaning of a written word, giving it a totally different hue in accordance with the thoughts and ideas already existing in his/her mind.
Reading is not just limited to looking at, and uttering, the sentences written on a piece of paper – it demands more than that. You might have inquired, desperately, how to read an article to grasp and retain its crux and information mentioned therein. You might have complained that you have short memory – whatsoever you read, begins to fade away after an hour or two, and for that, you have to steep yourself in grasping written pieces. This not only demotivates you, but also bars you from developing a habit of reading. In the first instance, you need to understand that it is natural and it happens only in the initial days of reading; to understand something, it has to be painstakingly gone through.
Problem isn’t just that absorbing by reading is difficult, but it is: people have taken reading lightly – or say wrongly. As in the normal circumstances, reading is mistaken only for pronouncing the words. For people to understand the process of reading, I have divided it into three forms: pronouncing, absorbing and analyzing.
Pronouncing words from a written piece means reading that without comprehensively understanding as to what it elaborates. It aims at understanding the meaning of the second sentence, without trying to match it with that of the first. It may interest you and save your time; otherwise, on something useless, but it doesn’t affect you in any way, and nor does it add to your knowledge. It is because the students have got the habit that they tend to forget what they read within hours, if not at once.
Absorbing a written piece implies discreetly reading between the lines and grasping comprehensive insights into the events mentioned in the write-up. It is what results in affecting your mind. With augmentation of interest into reading and improvement in knowledge, it helps you understand the actual purpose of the write-up. It is by then that you would be gain what actually that document keeps for you. Because such reading demands time and toil, students prefer other material to it.
Analyzing a written work means completely going through, grasping and examining it. It requires full attention on every point mentioned in what you read. It helps you first distinguish between your and the writer’s points of view on the topic and get the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong to both of you, and then what you need to agree or disagree to. It further gives you an edge of the edification and retention by following the process of refining what you read. What you just utter, what you absorb, and what you agree to, and, in the last, what you retain make a plenty of difference, indeed.
Sadly, because of its difficulty, reading from time to time has failed to attract people and create its space in the midst of the hectic lives of people in many sections of the society. Although it is wrong to state that the number of readers present in the world is too scant for there exist great and cultivated persons who have been reading for decades, yet neither is that wrong that there is worldwide negligible number of readers who seem to have literary reading ambition. People these days read only for a brief period of time, and the select material, and surprisingly in view of their educational needs, in dire circumstances when there is no other option left.
Given the dynamics of learning have changed with the advent and growth of information technology, as in the status quo, video-based and Power Point-assisted learning have advanced, people worldwide seem to have lost interest in reading. But reading, in fact, wields preference over other things. There is no denying the fact that reading calls for widening efforts as in the very outset, it is too time-consuming an activity to follow, but once you develop a knack for reading with its process being followed by, it will be quick and easy and all these forms of reading would be working parallel, making you feel fully comfortable with the ‘reading comprehension’ and retention.
The writer is a student of MA English Literature at Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur.