Author: flora_zheng

What are you reading? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2005-10-15 21:07:31 |Display all floors

what for?

Reading extensively for sure is good for our language learning. I was somehow mixed up in what I read so I guess I ought to figure out what I read for. Usually one reads to become powerful with extensive knowledge, but I am quite intent on the wording of the essays, especially some colloquial ones which are close to our life. But this is not easy for me since I just want to learn all of them by heart. Also I find it a little bit difficult to reorganize the articles I read with a brief book report or summary or something. Would you please tell me how to read efficiently ?

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Post time 2005-10-16 16:31:52 |Display all floors

What is reading efficiently?

I don't know if anyone can read "efficiently".!  

So, as a writer, and a reader, and a lover of poetry and literature, I am going to write you a short explanation of why efficiency isn't something you want to achieve when reading.  

Now, the answer below may be difficult for some English students, but please try to follow along, with a dictionary, thesaurus, and grammer, if necessary.

Reading is, of course, for learning, but it is also for pleasure, for love and relaxation and sharing. If you read novels, it is to be intimate with the characters, to  becaught up in the plot, and to be mesmerized by the structure of the sentences.

Reading poetry is to find meaning in language, love in rhyming songs, and liberation in the perfection of expression.  

Everything I write, I try to make beautiful, or artistic, at least enjoyable or disturbing. I suppose a better description is worthwhile.  And, sometimes, just simple declarative sentences don't work well, I must dress up my writing in fun and pomposity.  Although, sometimes simple sentences are fun, especially when they are joyous or threatening.

And how can we read with both our hearts and our minds, and how can we write with devotion and elegance, and also be efficient at the same time?  Nietzche was probably efficient.  And I don't want to read strongly, I want to embrace words.

When you are learning a language, you must read for basic understanding.  And in a Newspaper, you may want to read just for momentary comprehension, and learning how to do both of these takes practice.

But when you are reading for pleasure, whatever it is you read, efficiency is deadly.  And if you need to read for your daily grind (job), then you must feel the graces of writing and learn to embrace the daily paragraphs, so you may elevate mere efficiency to seeking joy every morning.  

Sometimes writers disappoint us, especially in newspapers, magazines, and business reports; but every once in a while, one of them shines and you should grab it, snatch it down to your heart, and treasure it deeply.

Perhaps, you should go looking for those gems.

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Post time 2005-10-17 02:58:37 |Display all floors

I like to read a novel or two when traveling for entertainment

Like my recent trip to GZ I finished Foundation, a great scifi, where some future statistician can use computer to simulate human society and thus to make predication of the future with accuracy.

The Foundation novels actually got me into reading something more serious, a non-fiction about ourselves, Germs Guns and Steel. Unfortunately I couldn't find someone who has read this book to discuss with me. Did you know that the entire world’s written languages originated from only two places? The first in the modern day mid-east and the second one was China. There was a third in modern day Mexico, better known for the Maya civilization, but they disappeared. It is truly intriguing that of the two writing system, one developed into alphabetic language while in China, the characters just keep growing and never had a chance to develop an alphabet. Even the independent Maya language was more or less alphabetic in nature.  

There are so many interesting issues in this book...

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Post time 2005-10-17 09:14:13 |Display all floors


Gzboston, I too enjoy science fiction, and I read Asimov's Foundation Trilogy years ago. Fascinating, aren't these three books, especially Hari Seldon's predictions? Unfortunately I may not remember enough details for a discussion, but I could try :-)

Flora, I read Rebecca ages ago too. However, I may not have understood it all that well at that time, as I was quite young, and probably wouldn't recognise it if I read it again now:-)

So, what am I reading these days? Mostly little children's stories, I'm afraid, haha. I'm looking for good stories on the net, that I could use in teaching basic English. I've managed to find quite a few, but would always welcome more links to sites with good children's stories, especially those with Chinese translations.

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Post time 2005-10-18 05:47:21 |Display all floors

Learn how to read better and faster

Hi Freshener,

It’s nice to hear from you again. Hope you have been doing all right with everything. As to the reading efficiently, Gzboston is an expert at reading and I have enjoyed what he shared in the Forum and learned a lot from the last year’s discussion we went through. Don’t be shy of bargaining him for good reading tips. Let me start with the very basic to entice him to wrap up the best for last:

1. Have the desire to read
2. Have interest in the materials to read
3. Be aware where you are at reading, such as reading speed, understanding, vocabulary, etc.
4. Start reading a book that fits you
5. Try not to read every word as fast as you can. Read groups of words
6. Try not to connect English words to thoughts in Chinese
7. Increase the number of words to be recognized effortlessly and without thought
8. Have a good dictionary handy
9. Read an hour or two daily

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Post time 2005-10-18 11:40:08 |Display all floors


Yeah, I was once attracted by Maya civilization, so mystery and magic, and also the story about Canicula and so on….

Hehe, metion the children’s story, this morning, when I was singing on the way to office, a children's song came to my mind, so interesting, refect the children’s dislike to go to school.  It goes like this:

一拉线, 赶紧跑


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Post time 2005-10-18 21:49:52 |Display all floors

reading for thinking

Hi Johndoe. Actually I decide to make the long-overdue improvements on my reading after I come here again.

Reading randomly is just like a breeze if it only serves for pleasure or entertainment. As for the majority of the people, reading has become one of the most important part in their life. Therefore I think reading is not only for fun, but for thinking.

It's a shame I didn't read a lot recently since I spent my days in a frenzy of activity, but achieved very little. Definitely that can not be the good excuse why I didn't read a great deal because no matter how full our time schedule is if we try really hard we can always fit some more things in it.

Anyhow I still spent a little time on Evelyn Waugh's works like "Decline and Fall". His works continued the tradition of Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw.

As ever

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