The other day I got an Ask to Answer, aka A2A on Quora: How can I start tolerating books?
I thought long and hard－about whether I should write an answer or not. Does the phrase tolerating books indicate the person asking is a lost cause beyond saving?
I did write an answer (as you may guess). And I am glad I did.
While composing an answer to the question, something striked me. Something important－and buried deep in my own treaure mine of subconsciousness.
It is so valuable I have to get it out and share with you. Ready? Here it is:
Reading is a natural experience. You find a great book, you read it, you like what you are getting from it, and you want more. As simple as that.
A main meal read answers your real-life question or subject matter at hand. For example, I am starting a blog, so I search for “blogging” in Amazon, and found How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul. It deals with what I care for most at the moment. So in a sense it is the main meal for my mind and soul, like carbonhydrates are to my body.
2. The Delicious Treats
Rex refers to this kind of reading as the best treats in the reading realm. These are the “classics” that everybody says is good, and you never have had the chance of trying for yourself. Shakespeare, Darwin, Adam Smith, Jane Austen, Betrand Russell. Find your treats and treat yourself. Be warned though: good meals requires a developed good taste to digest best.
3.Veggies and Fruits
Books of this sort are created to help you read other books, just as the fibre and vitamins veggies and fruits are so rich of are what your body needs in order to digest your main meals. Good dictionaries, encyclopedia, reference materials,well-written and compiled literary companion are all examples of this sort.
This is the best part. Rex refers to this kind of reading as pleasure reading. And in my opinion, this is how we begin to fall in love with reading－that unique kind of joy you derive from entering the mind of another fellow who happened to put down his/her thoughts in such a lively/colorful/cool manner with words/images (yes, reading comics also counts!) that blows your mind. Just read whatever pleases you. There is no boundaries. Knock yourself out.
And that is one of the most useful notions about reading I know－reading as feeding yourself. You don’t want to starve yourself, do you?
Start with a mouthful; if it is good, bite－everything goes from there.