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Popularity 6Viewed 7183 times 2016-12-7 18:00 |Personal category:reading|System category:Life| reading



Emma Watson launched an activity in London by hiding books in the tube stations of London to encourage people to read more. It was a great success. Some people organized the same activity in the subway of Beijing. They even invited quite a few noted celebrities to join this to give it even greater publicity. However, the feedback from the public regarding this seemed rather controversial.

 

Some people complained that it would interrupt the public order since the government needed to empty a certain subway line at a certain time for the celebrity to pose photos in it or for people to hide books. Also, there were people unsatisfied with the book selection claiming that some books were not thought-provoking enough. Of course, some other people applauded for this activity as it at least to a certain extent helped to raise the public awareness of reading.

 

In my very personal view, this was applaudable. Think about this when was the last time that you sat there quietly and actually immersed yourself in the world created in the book held in your hand? Living in this information era, we are bombarded by astranomical data daily. But an extraordinary amount of it unfortunately is simply rubbish.

 

With the countless entertainment tools at our disposal, nowadays Chinese people don't seem to be as interested in reading as they were before. The first time I came to notice this was when I read an editorial on Chinadaily from Raymond Zhou. A foreigner once raised the question "why don't Chinese people read in public? " True, Chinese people don't seem to read in airplane or in subway. It is absolutely a pity considering how scholars were valued in Chinese ancient history.

 

The other day, I discussed with my friend why many Chinese young people didn't like reading, serious reading in particular. This is a bit obvious to us mainly because when we are asking students questions with regards to social issues, the majority of them fail to come up with many ideas let alone creative ones.

 

We tried to analyze this based on our limited experience. It is therefore maybe biased. We believe that Chinese way of education is to a great extent responsible for this since it proclaims absolute obedience to authority without questioning and it cultivates students in a very mechanical way. Consequently, it doesn't seem to irrational for people to say that many Chinese graduates are like products rolled off the assembly line.

 

I firmly believe that many children have this natural curiosity towards reading. But unfortunately it gets invariably killed by the rigid style of education. Most of the time, we don't get to choose what we can read and are simply assigned to read some so-called classic books. Don't get me wrong. Many books included in our textbooks are indeed great and are worth reading. But many students are not able to understand the underlying meaning. (I might not be smart enough.) when I was having Chinese class in my high school, I couldn't appreciate the beauty as well as the reason hidden in those well-written articles. Aside from this, what made me even less interested in reading was how my Chinese teachers would guide us to think in certain ways when reading, even though their instructions and explanations seemed pretty far-fetched. Another factor that should not be negelected is that Chinese students are too preoccupied with their academic study to have much free time to do either casual reading or serious reading. Under those circumstances, reading lost its fun.

 

Another contributing factor behind this phenomenon is that many parents consider it the duty of the school to help students develop a habit of reading. They don't seem to realize the significant influence their modeling can exert on their children. They don't do bedtime story either. It is even more difficult for a child to develop a habit of reading.

 

Why should we read? Many wise answers to this question have been afforded. Some people read to keep up with the fast-developing society; some to elevate their artsy temperament; some to be relaxed and so on and so forth. Personally, I read to better understand myself and the world I am living in. The more I read, the more I can come to terms with myself and with this world.

 

What to read? We should start by reading books we are truly interested in, which facilitates the maintaneance of our enthusiasm and passion. But one thing we should bear in mind about reading is that we should never limit our selection of books to a certain area. The more diverse areas of books we read, the more enlightened and open-minded we will become. Of course, there are many other ways to maintain our interest in reading such as keeping a diary of reflection from reading materials, sharing your feelings with friends with similar interest etc.

 

Reading boosts your imagination as well as creativity; more importantly, reading enables you to meet a better you!

 

 

 

 




(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report voice_cd 2016-12-8 09:28
thanks for sharing here, we have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report Min1989 2016-12-8 09:43
voice_cd: thanks for sharing here, we have highlighted your blog.
Thank you for that. Have a nice day!
Reply Report Kevinfly 2016-12-8 09:49
Reading could help me to express what I want to say when I need words. Like I appreciate your article but can not find proper words to express my feeling here.
Reply Report Min1989 2016-12-8 13:07
Kevinfly: Reading could help me to express what I want to say when I need words. Like I appreciate your article but can not find proper words to express my feel ...
Thank you.   It's very nice of you to say so.
Reply Report Dracarys 2016-12-8 16:25
Reading requires a quiet place and as you can see .. Subway in China obviously is not a quiet place for reading ..
Reply Report Min1989 2016-12-8 16:45
Dracarys: Reading requires a quiet place and as you can see .. Subway in China obviously is not a quiet place for reading ..
Exactly~Maybe if they can develop a habit of reading in  public place including subway, they may stop talking with each other loudly or screaming to their phone. This way, the subway may become a better place for reading. It is,however, noticed that Chinese people don't read even in quiet public place such as waiting room at the airport. I suppose we haven't realised the meaning and the joy of reading yet.
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-12-8 20:14
I can read anywhere: I studied on public transport when a student.
All it needs is concentration.

The only problem I have is when people think they can interrupt me to ask me questions, hence I have given up reading in parks unless I can find a place completely away from people.
Reply Report Min1989 2016-12-9 09:18
BlondeAmber: I can read anywhere: I studied on public transport when a student.
All it needs is concentration.

The only problem I have is when people think they c ...
Totally agree. I do reading in subway. But I usually listen to music at the same time, which helps me concentrate. It seems that people who don't know each other  don't talk to each other that much in Chinese public places.
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-12-9 13:50
Min1989: Totally agree. I do reading in subway. But I usually listen to music at the same time, which helps me concentrate. It seems that people who don't know ...
i don't find that problem.
many strangers in china seem to think it is ok to speak to me or interrupt what i am doing.
Reply Report Min1989 2016-12-10 09:17
BlondeAmber: i don't find that problem.
many strangers in china seem to think it is ok to speak to me or interrupt what i am doing.
I suppose that may be because you are from a different country. They are just curious about you.
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-12-10 17:43
Min1989: I suppose that may be because you are from a different country. They are just curious about you.
people can be curious without being intrusive.

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  • The Purpose of Reading 2018-4-12 13:45

    we have the same feeling about. reading,reading. really tells us a lot especially when welearn foreign languages.it. can help us to understand other. country's culture and customs.therefore,when we talk. in foreign languages.we. needn't worry about. making too. much mistakes.it also can enrich our life.let's enjoy reding

  • Why don't We Stand Out and Fight? 2018-4-4 14:14

    It is actually emotionally and mentally healthy to have nursing homes for old people in residential areas, and makes it easy for families to visit their elderly relations regularly.
    Death happens to everyone and it is stupid to hide it away. Death is not bad luck - it will happen to you and me.
    In some European countries there are homes for the elderly next to kindergartens, and everyone benefits from interacting with each other on a daily basis.
    The elderly benefit from interacting with children and keeps them mentally alert, whereas the young learn about death as a normal part of life.

    For a country that supposedly 'respects' their elders, China has a very superstitious attitude to death and dying.
    where i am from, the elderly are allowed and supported by family and state) to be independent and in their own homes.
    Where medical treatment is needed, residential homes allow the elderly appropriate facilities in towns and cities while their families can visit easily and local residents can interact with them.
    In addition, local communities benefit from being able to interact with these residents and the residents can still be part of a local community, not hidden away as something to be ashamed of or 'taboo'.

    Shame on China for such medieval superstitious attitudes regarding death.
    Does China 'respect' the elderly so much that they should be hidden away from people's lives?

    Do you want to be isolated and hidden away when you are old and your family don't want to or can't visit you?

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