Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Some of our earliest memories center around books. Maybe when we were little, we were snuggled up in the lap of a grandparent or parent while they read our favorite book to us. What a comforting thought!  Maybe instead the memory is that of being home from school sick in bed and having a family member console you with some favorite story of a favorite hero or perhaps it was a never heard before mystery or adventure. Sometimes, you can close your eyes and think of those book’s words and almost see and feel those memories evoked by the stories in the books read by a beloved one. How much enjoyment there used to be when it was story time at school. Nothing sparks the flame of imagination like hearing or reading books. The length of the book need not matter; once we have the seed of a story in our minds, the image may grow and linger for any length of time and these thoughts give us instant remembrances of something special.

These first experiences of hearing and reading are the foundation for our future understanding of more important and complex information which life will soon bring. These foundations from books will allow us to be able to absorb any interesting topic which we choose to seek in books of any of the variety we find interest. What might be a childish curiosity at a young age could be the beginnings of a life’s career in something like entomology or oceanography.

Through books, we have the ability to be or become anybody we might choose to be (if only in our temporary vacations of our minds). No matter where we live, our circumstances or our limitations, we have a side – trip or an escape from these confines through many a fantastic book. (No matter if you will never travel the world.) Through texts, you will still be able to “see” and “know” these different places. In many respects, I should think you would better see and understand some of the aspects of other places through books as opposed to actually going there. At a moment’s searching through a book, you will gain access to the sought interesting facts you would like to know in comparison to trying to go to this far away place and spend much time and resources to perhaps not capture the “thing” you would like to gain from the lengthy endeavor. I am very interested as to what life was like three hundred years ago, but I have no desire to not have a skilled surgeon on hand if I need one and have grown fond of other things paper is made of besides only books. Therefore, through reading books of or from history, I may gain enough of an idea of what it was like to satisfy my curiosity.

There are other places we cannot go, besides back into history, unless we use the gift of books. We are a bit too large to explore the intricate workings within a human body. We just cannot quite squeeze through those arteries or fit into the space of a cell without the aide of books and our imaginations. The last I checked, there are no tours available to the oceans’ depths or into deep space either. There are so many sources to purchase books as well, but my favorite is online purchasing. Whether they be just for enjoyment type books such as novels or fantasy, mystery or adventure or if what you are wanting is higher education type books, by going online within just a few minutes you can locate and compare books and make your purchases and those books are conveniently delivered directly to you. Visiting actual brick-and-mortar style bookstores may also be as enjoyable. Each person has their own preferences.

Many of these books you may choose to purchase in used condition, whether it be because once you have finished reading them, you would like to resale these same books online or because many of these used books are in fact almost like brand new books. Some of these books, (maybe all of your books) you may prefer as new books. Still this same easy to search and find and purchase of these books online seems a great choice as opposed to driving around town looking for what you want. Even though they are encouraging the trend to electronically access books, this is an unsavory trend, in my opinion. I want a book where I am able to “tag” important information I will re-look to later or will want to remember. I want the ability to hang onto certain books possibly for many years. With downloaded information, how long do we hang onto information? And, is it as memorable as when we have access to these books sitting on their designated shelf space? Some information will go out – of – date, but this does not make it totally void of all use. In many instances, to better understand why some events unfolded in history the way that they did, you HAVE to look back through books of that era to gain the insight and understanding of the circumstances which allowed those events in that way to occur. If you “literally” speaking sanitize and erase through omission of accurately recorded accounts then never will you be able to have clear insight to the why’s, where’s and how’s of history. Certain events occurred in the past, which are as accurately as was possible recorded in historical books. These acts may be ugly and unimaginable to most of us nowadays, but it is imperative that we see what people in the past thought to be “truth” of “acceptable”. Some of those ideas and practices may make us chuckle while other thoughts and acts make us cringe and gasp, but there is so much history and information we need to retain in the light of how past books were viewed and penned. If you take away the looking glass (prism glass perhaps) or magnifying glass and instead replace it with a flat, sterile modern eyepiece, you erase important details and depths of our possible vision. There are so many books that once they go out of print are lost forever. This in some instances is such a terrible loss. When you “modernize” old language, you may lose much of the flavor and zest, which was contained in the old script (the “books of old”). How have you the ability to know the volume of difference? Things like slavery happened and were viewed from different perspectives. Those points of view were expressed and even if they were expressed as if they were “good” or whatever and we now see them as not so good, by us reading of them now will not have us think them any less different than what we now see them to be with all the since – then – gained understanding and knowledge.

Books are of such great value that many are used to enrich the lives and minds of all. No matter how sparse or great your time and appetite to read books is, no single moment of reading a book is ever considered a waste. When we invest the time and energy into reading books of any variety, that information is woven into our thoughts and will in some fashion be reutilized somewhere down the road. Even when we read a book which we think we are not gaining from, many times if, say there are words or viewpoints which we do not know the meaning of or relate to, when we are further along in life or reading these books the understanding will finally more fully emerge and be recognized and seen in our thoughts as being of importance. You have to allow all of these different directions of sight in order (eventually) for them to merge together in order to have a more complete perspective of all of the similar and conflicting details. Books may allow us the freedom to explore and expand focus and hone – in on whatever area of information we choose to direct ourselves to learn about. With the use of books, we have the resources and ability to compare information to strengthen or weaken our convictions as to what we believe we know. Maybe we use these books to improve on how we do certain tasks or comprehend how scientists comes to certain conclusions about how octopi are intelligent.

Without books to skim through or absorb, much of our learning would be boring and made flat. Books may be read for several hours at a time or for only brief minutes, then retrieved and read for a few more scant moments through out a day or week or whatever. They are able to be referenced later and to allow us to share with other people who may have similar interests or need of specific information.


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Anyone do this? You see a movie (a super great hit, or a nominee for a prize) and you absolutely love it! Then, you decide to read a boo, and it happens to be the book the movie is based on? Well, I did this last week. Now, some people have different opinions, but me, I LOVED doing this! It was like seeing an excellent movie, twice! (Or, reading an excellent book twice.) I’m not going to say the name of the movie that I saw (I’ll keep the media that I read or watch to myself for now), but I have to say that for me it was an incredible experience.

This experience has impacted me so much that today, a week later, I still can feel the “vibe” of that movie and the book. Remember my earlier post about “emotional impact” and how reading different things can cause various thoughts and emotions to arise, e.g. joy, peace, sentimient, etc., and I pointed out the difference between reading words on a sign compared to reading words in a story. My next question or topic may be on whether the written word has double the emotional impact if along with reading those words, a person watches something visual, like a movie. So by watching a movie and reading its corresponding book, is the emotional impact doubled? This dovetails nicely with a new idea I have been thinking about which I might want to discuss later. The idea is about reinforcing the learning of an idea, topic, or subject by reading AND watching. The concurrent stimulation of our senses using simultaneous stimulation of the learning centers in our brain.

Learning can occur in many different ways. If you want to try an experiment, how about this. The next time you watch a movie and read the text which matches the storyline, consider whether you learn more, less, or the same as if you had only done one or the other. Of course, the script may or may not correspond to the filming of the material, but that is up to you to decide.

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Resumes and College

About an hour ago, someone asked me to keep an eye out for a couple books that they needed. I said, “sure, give me the ISBN numbers.” When I got to the computer and looked them up, I see that although they are like “textbooks,” they are more like study books. What is the subject matter? Job hunting and how to write resumes. I thought that books on this subject are a wonderful idea. Students who are looking for work, to get that first job, looking to get hired may not have any idea what employers are looking for. And, a good place to start learning about those kinds of things are from books! (Notice the title of this blog is Books… and Learned Things.)

I would think most of us can figure out that an employer wants basic qualities, such as being on time, being prompt, polite, courteous, etc., but I would think that if your resume just says you are good at being on time, there may be the possibility that others’ resumes might, uh, ‘beat out’ your resume. So what do you put on one? How do you portray yourself? Well, guess what. I don’t know. I don’t have a clue. I, myself, would have to find out. How would I find out? I’d probably go to a library (either like a big library that I wrote about on this blog, or a local one) or bookstore or bookshop and read some books on how to job hunt, and how to write a good resume.

My goodness time flies. I’m a perfectionist and I could have written more, but I spent most of my time correcting the grammar in this post. Do you all have that same tendency?

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Normally when I study, I will read through the subject matter from front to back. I’ll start from the front page, work my way through to the end of the book, and call it good. Recently, however, I started studying “backwards” from the back of the textbook to the front. It feels like that does something to my brain/mind in a tactile way. Probably like when people force themselves to handwrite using the non-dominant hand. Like exercising a usually-non-exercised portion of your study patterns.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that anyone studies this way, but for me, for some reason, it actually feels good, and allows me to internalize whatever data I am trying to get my head around.

Here are a few of my study methods. They may be ones you already use, and they may not be ones that you use. You have to make your own choices, so please don’t take these as any kind of “recommendation” or suggestion. This is a list I’ve made, just for fun:

  • Reading from back to front.
  • Studying from the beginning to the end.
  • Studying a book from the middle to the front, and then from the middle to the back.
  • Reading from beginning, to the back; then repeating the reading and study from the back all the way to the beginning (like mowing a lawn diagonally, then diagonally again the other way).
  • Imagining myself studying, while I’m actually studying.
  • Taking notes while doing any of the aforementioned 5 steps.

And, there you have it. My various methods of studying things. In a previous post, I went into some details about libraries, in particular, a library in France called the “Bibliotheque de L’Arsenal.” Locally, right here in the United States, we have a number of libraries that are as large, or even larger. If I were to go into one of those libraries and start studying microfilms, literary works, or whatever, I would probably use one of those study methods. For me, the most important way to study is to be sure to actually learn what it is that I am reading about. Then, when I feel I have a tangible grasp on the material, I can say that I’m done studying! Readers — you saw I just now said “tangible” grasp. By ‘tangible’ I mean when I’ve learned something, it has a certain tactile feel to it. Read on:

Tangible Feel To Learning:

I made a little headline right there, “tangible feel…” because have you ever asked somebody a technical question (e.g. “What is the 4th planet in the solar system?”) and you get a vague answer (e.g. “Well, there are quite a few planets, it depends…”). Obviously, they have no clue. They DON’T have a tangible grasp on the topic. But when you do have a full grasp, you can answer with authority (“Mars!”). Did that make sense? Hopefully I explained this in a sensible way. Anyway, I’m about half-way through my study of latin literature, so I’m done writing for the night! Good night!

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