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Reading, An Amazing Discovery

By Lilian Flores


     When I was in the university in my native country, Mexico, it was very difficult to read a lot in a short amount of time. The pressure of being a student and having a full time job took away the pleasure of reading, but now that my life is more tranquil, I appreciate reading as an art because reading provides me with experiences and places to enjoy besides my own surroundings. I find reading to be practical, beneficial, economical, and good for all ages, and the notable author of The Art of Reading, Lin Yutang, describes the pleasure of reading with the same perspective that I would.

     As a student at San Jose City College, I think reading is a practical way to learn. I can learn through reading, and practice in the Reading and Writing Center by reading the newspaper every weekday to learn about what is happening in my own community and around the world.  Also, by having access to the internet I can read about any topic.  In most  dentists’ and doctors’ offices there are books and magazines for patients to read. All libraries have books in the most popular languages and on every topic. Even while waiting for a friend or for the bus and while on the bus, I can practice reading.

     No matter what I'm doing, reading is very beneficial because it increases my vocabulary, which helps me to better communicate my ideas. Reading helps me learn from my surroundings and opens my mind to understand more people. Reading gives me more choices for places to go and activities to do. Like the author of The Art of Reading says, “reading or the enjoyment of books has always been regarded among the charms of a cultural life and is respected,” and this respect leads to self-confidence.

     Reading is economical, thanks to public libraries that offer a large variety of books that we can check out for long periods of time. By using this service we don’t even need space at home to hold the books that we're reading. Also there are some second hand book stores where the books are very affordable. Reading can also have economic benefits in the sense that it takes time away from shopping and watching TV, whose commercials only lead us to spend money impulsively.

     There is an extraordinarily long list of books that are good for all ages. There are books for babies that awaken their curiosity with beautiful colors and tales that increase their imagination. There are books for children and teens looking for new topics that reveal the unknown world, like poems, novels, comic books, biographies and short stories. Adults can find a vast collection of books of different genres depending on their preference. For example, they can select mysteries, romance novels, dramas or self-help books.

     Sometimes our past experiences make it hard to enjoy reading, but we should keep trying. Books are like people; we have to get to know them to see if they will be true friends. As Lin Yutang says, “Just take up a book and read when the mood comes. To be thoroughly enjoyed, reading must be entirely spontaneous.” Read different authors and topics; don’t force yourself to finish a book that you don’t like. We can all benefit from the advantages of reading, and books will become our best friends that help us expand our minds, independence and creativity.