The Art of Reading

Andrea Samayoa English Section 6 Melissa Qualls October 14, 2012 What True Reading Is “A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others” this quote was said by the famous president Abraham Lincoln. Reading gives you access to a new world where you discover things you didn’t imagine and gives you knowledge of the history and present of the world. This access opens your eyes to enjoy learning new things through reading. Every person in a point of their life has enjoyed reading and maybe they didn’t even notice it.

People may say how reading bores them out, but reading doesn’t necessarily have to come from a book. In the essay “The Art of Reading” Yutang brings up the guidelines of how reading can be enjoyed and absorbed through the true art of reading. Reading helps develop your mind to open up to new adventures, people, ways of living, and sets you away from ignorance. In Yutang’s article he compares the life of “a man who does no reading” to the one who does (90). Yutangs argues how the man who does no reading is imprisoned in how own world with limited contact or conversations.

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He then states how the moment the person starts to read he “enters a different world”(90). The man who does no reading has no knowledge of what people have gone through in the world or the classic stories there are that have changed a person’s way of thinking. The person who reads gains access to different type of conversations and can argue their opinion towards a subject because they have the knowledge to do so. Everyone once in his or her life has enjoyed reading. Even the persons who say they don’t, they sure have gone through magazines, newspapers, or online stories that are still considered as reading.

I’ve witnessed how reading can change a person’s perspective and how one book can change your life. A friend of mine always complained about reading. He was assigned to read a novel called “Catcher in the Rye” and from that day on he hasn’t stopped reading. He enjoyed it so much that he truly discovered the art of it and continued to read many more to find that emotion of awe again. Reading can open doors to deeper thoughts of events, knowledge, and imagination that lead to a whole new perspective of your way of life and its surroundings.

A person’s connection with a reading can lead to different doors of life, but to find these doors they must follow their own path of flavor or taste when choosing what to read. Yutangs states how “anyone who reads a book with a sense of obligations does not understand the art of reading” because the reader is not enjoying the text (91). A person will not enjoy anything about the reading if the person is not interested at all in the topic. These kinds of reading can lead to a person’s disappointment and lack of interest towards reading anything at all. Imagine reading a 5-page essay about anthropology and without any interested at all.

This is pure torture. After this experience how can a person imagine wanting to read any essay at all? That person’s experience towards reading an essay are set due to a bad experience and this can lower the person’s enjoyment of reading. On the other hand, it can help a person find the taste or flavor as to what is it that he/she wants to read. I agree with how Yutang states how reading because you enjoy it is the “only admissible king of reading” (91). By finding the flavor he/she enjoys when reading will not only give you charm, but it will reflect by the way you talk and write.

This flavor or taste is the “key to all reading” because it will reflect in a person’s personality when talking, writing, or reading (92). Is a person’s writing or way of speaking going to be better from a person who reads Shakespeare than from a person who reads Mark Twain? Yutang argues how here are no books that one must be obliged to read. Reading Shakespeare can be enjoyable for some and for others it may not. Most of the time people think that by reading Shakespeare, Tolstoy, or any other famous author they will achieve a greater knowledge when it comes to writing or talking. This is necessarily not the case.

A person will learn nothing from Shakespeare if they are not enjoying it. Reading extensive words over and over again may bore the person and lose the interest. By reading something the person enjoys can urge them to look for words they didn’t understand, and try to acknowledge them in the future. When the time is right they will be using those words fluently in their way of speaking and talking. Time is also valuable when reading. Books must be read at a certain time. There is a time for everything. There is a time for finding a person’s flavor, a time for choosing what to read, and a circumstance at a certain time to read a book.

A clear example Yutang gives about what or when to read it is the Bible. He states how the Bible is a book everyone thinks they must read, but that there is a certain time to read it. Yutang also suggests how reading the same book at different periods in a persons life can change the perception they’ve had of the book. The firs book I ever read was Twilight. I thought it was amazing and so entertaining. I wouldn’t stop talking about it and thought it was the best book ever written. After I read several more books of different style I decided to read twilight back again. What was my thought? Horrible.

I couldn’t believe I was obsessed with it and talked about it to everyone I knew. I am now ashamed to say I was a fan because the writing was horrible and the explanations even worse. Reading different kind of book at a certain time and at different periods of a person’s life will help improve different thoughts a person may had once, choices they thought were the right ones, and way of speaking and writing after different styles of reading. Different books are good for a person because they learn different styles and taste he or she may have. According to Yutang it is very important for readers to discover their favorite author.

I don’t agree with Yutang on this because having a favorite author can be limited for a person. The person may want to read only about his or her favorite author and won’t want to open their mind towards what other authors may offer him or her. Having multiple favorite authors can open contact with different persons and conversations. I believe it is more important to find your favorite style of books than your favorite author. A person will enjoy this much more because then a he or she can compare the style and way of thinking from one author to another. I think of this idea of Yutangs favorite author as for example when choosing ho is your favorite parent. Is it mom or dad? I don’t think I could choose over one because they both have different conceptions or points of view that I agree on. I consider this to be a bit contradictive from Yutang’s previous points of view. He talks how it is important to read books you enjoy, find your flavor, read book at different time periods without knowledge that as a person grow up he can no longer have the same favorite author as before because your beliefs, values and ideas change. My favorite author from when I was 10 is definitely not the same then from now.

A person’s perspective changes through time and thus with this changes comes new liking of different styles of reading and authors. Reading truly is achieved through different measures, but it all narrows down to read what a person enjoys. The pleasure of reading can’t be compared. A person is sent into a whole new world where they can imagine, learn, and embrace moments they didn’t know of. Yutang provides his conclusion towards what the art of reading truly is and states how there is no certain time one must read. The answer is to “read when the mood comes” (94).

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