Relationships with Books

“A good book deserves an active reading. The activity of reading does not stop with the work of understanding what a book says. It must be completed by the work of criticism, the work of judging.”
Author: Mortimer J. Adler

Dear reader,

Books can be read several different ways, depending on the purpose of the reader. Some can be read for fun, some can be read for answering questions, and others can be read for understanding and wrestling with the text. It is important to know where one’s relationship with a book is so one can be able to determine how to grow and get more out of the book other than just a story.

If one reads a book that really challenging and intriguing, but doesn’t put that much thought into what the author is saying or how it is being said, a book will be read only for the sake of the storyline instead of the underlying purposes of what the author was trying to imply. However, if the underlying purposes of the author is noticed by the reader, questions will start to form in the reader’s mind that show active participation in trying to see what the author is trying to imply in the text. Then the reader may ask questions about why the author tried using particular methods or word choices.

It may not be easy to analyze a book, but it also depends on how the books are treated once they are bought. If the book is brand new and remains unmarked when it is being read, there may not be any active reading involved. However, if a book is bought and there are marks all over the book, notes inside the pages, and observations and questions by the reader, that shows that the reader has analyzed the book and is trying to get a better understanding of the concepts involved.

I have admittedly not been the most active reader, and I am trying to improve as much as I can. My hope is that I will become a reader who can be able to analyze and annotate a book and see the ideas presented behind the text. I would like to ask you a question, dear reader. How do you view relationships with books and what could you gain from that viewpoint?

-Kinya

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