Yes, I do think that not everything from the past is outmoded. Giving yourself a chance to possess something very good, taking your time, that's important. Yes, I think everything goes by too fast these days. We talk too fast. We think too fast - if we think at all, that is! We send e-mails and texts without reading them through, we lose the elegance of proper spelling, politeness, the sense of things. I've seen children publish pictures of themselves vomiting on Facebook. No, no, i'm not against progress; I'm just afraid it will isolate people even more.
Walking was not fast enough so we ran. Running was not fast enough, so we galloped. Galloping was not fast enough, so we sailed. Sailing was not fast enough, so we rolled merrily along on long metal tracks. Long metal tracks were not fast enough, so we drove. Driving was not fast enough, so we flew. Flying isn't fast enough, not fast enough for us. We want to get there faster. Get where? Wherever we are not. But a human soul can go only as fast as a man can walk, they used to say. In that case, where are all the souls? Left behind. They wander here and there, slowly, dim lights flickering in the marshes at night, looking for us. But they're not nearly fast enough, not for us, we're way ahead of them, they'll never catch up. That's why we can go so fast: our souls don't weigh us down.
Fast reading of a great novel will get us the plot. It will get us names, a shadowy idea of characters, a sketch of settings. It will not get us subtleties, small differentiations, depth of emotion and observation, multilayered human experience, the appreciation of simile and metaphor, any sense of context, any comparison with other novels, other writers. Fast reading will not get us cadence and complexities of style and language. It will not get us anything that enters not just the conscious mind but the unconscious. It will not allow the book to burrow down into our memory and become part of ourselves, the accumulation of knowledge and wisdom and vicarious experience which helps to form us as complete human beings. It will not develop our awareness or add to the sum of our knowledge and intelligence. Read parts of a newspaper quickly or an encyclopaedia entry, or a fast-food thriller, but do not insult yourself or a book which has been created with its author's painstakingly acquired skill and effort, by seeing how fast you can dispose of it.
Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.
Reading with an eye towards metaphor allows us to become the person we're reading about, while reading about them. That's why there is symbols in books and why your English teacher deserves your attention. Ultimately, it doesn't matter if the author intended the symbol to be there because the job of reading is not to understand the author's intent. The job of reading is to use stories as a way into seeing other people as a we ourselves.
I wear glasses, and maybe you do, too. Mine probably cost about the same as yours. Would you trade lenses with me just because I asked you to? Of course not! That would be silly because yours fit you and mine fit me. Reading is the same thing. Are you reading what the boss is reading or are you reading what fits you? Are you reading a book because someone sent it to you? how about because it's on the bestseller list? You wouldn't wear someone else's glasses - don't let them pick your books. Understand what your purpose is for reading and carefully discipline your choices - Fred Smith
[B]riefing is not reading. In fact it is the antithesis of reading. Briefing is terse, factual and to the point. Reading is untidy, discursive and perpetually inviting. Briefing closes down a subject, reading opens it up.
Reading changes your life. Reading unlocks worlds unknown or forgotten, taking travelers around the world and through time. Reading helps you escape the confines of school and pursue your own education. Through characters - the saints and the sinners, real or imagined - reading shows you how to be a better human being.
When I stepped into the brown-tiled entryway of the Kentwood Public Library, the sunlight flowing down on me from the high windows, I felt a sense of importance. It gratified me to be in a place devoted to books and quiet; I was filled with a sense of hope. Reading to me was fundamental, as fundamental as food. And nothing could be more satisfying than reading a good book while eating a good meal of mi soup, french fries, and a thin cut of steak. I plowed through books as fast as possible in order to read them again.