Some people claim that it is okay to read trashy novels because sometimes you can find something valuable in them. You can also find a crust of bread in a garbage can, if you search long enough, but there is a better way.
Fast reading of a great novel will get us the plot. It will get us names, a shadowy idea of characters, a sketch of settings. It will not get us subtleties, small differentiations, depth of emotion and observation, multilayered human experience, the appreciation of simile and metaphor, any sense of context, any comparison with other novels, other writers. Fast reading will not get us cadence and complexities of style and language. It will not get us anything that enters not just the conscious mind but the unconscious. It will not allow the book to burrow down into our memory and become part of ourselves, the accumulation of knowledge and wisdom and vicarious experience which helps to form us as complete human beings. It will not develop our awareness or add to the sum of our knowledge and intelligence. Read parts of a newspaper quickly or an encyclopaedia entry, or a fast-food thriller, but do not insult yourself or a book which has been created with its author's painstakingly acquired skill and effort, by seeing how fast you can dispose of it.
I am shocked to find that some people think a 2 star 'I liked it' rating is a bad rating. What? I liked it. I LIKED it! That means I read the whole thing, to the last page, in spite of my life raining comets on me. It's a good book that survives the reading process with me. If a book is so-so, it ends up under the bed somewhere, or maybe under a stinky judo bag in the back of the van. So a 2 star from me means,yes, I liked the book, and I'd loan it to a friend and it went everywhere in my jacket pocket or purse until I finished it. A 3 star means that I've ignored friends to finish it and my sink is full of dirty dishes. A 4 star means I'm probably in trouble with my editor for missing a deadline because I was reading this book. But I want you to know . . . I don't finish books I don't like. There's too many good ones out there waiting to be found. Robin Hobb, author
Choice: that was the thing. Other people claimed that you can't choose who you love--it just happens!--but Grace and Roman knew that was a bunch of happy horseshit. Of course you chose who you loved. If you didn't choose, you ended up with what was left--the drunks and abusers, the debtors and vacuums, the ones who ate their food too fast or had never read a novel. Damn, marriage was hard work, was manual labor, and unpaid manual labor at that. Yet, year after year, Grace and Roman had pressed their shoulders against the stone and rolled it up the hill together.
I can't blame most people if they don't read a lot. Because they have their own preferences. If they find an article long, they won't even finish. So as to say, I am glad I have the love for "reading" for it nourishes your soul and yourself from ideas and thoughts of others, there is always something to learn. I just hope this sad fact of not reading well be not another reason of ignorance in judging someone. But I know this is one reason why also a lot of people are poor in spelling. It is not about finishing your studies in high school or an undergrad student in college. Learning is inevitable, lifetime and forever as long as you live. But learning will only happen to those who have interest in improving themselves, upgrading their knowledge and reaching out for a better self.
Some people search out solitude without even thinking that they need to do so--it's an innate urge with them, something that they do as a matter of course, without even thinking about the psychological benefits of being alone. These people are very fortunate, for they help themselves in a very important way on a regular basis. Other people are given solitude involuntarily--with me it came from my insecurities and my inability to fit in with others. For me, solitude was very often loneliness, and very often painful. But I know now that I made it painful because of my perspective, and I regret losing so many opportunities that being on my own opened up to me--I'll never be able to get them back. Find or make time for yourself to be with yourself. Spend time thinking about who you are and who you want to be. Examine your strengths and focus on possibilities. Find the friend inside who has accomplished a lot, and learn to love yourself on your own terms. If you can do this, you've taken a very important step towards being able to help others to learn about themselves and to be more content with life.
Ah, group projects. Some people love 'em, some people hate 'em - okay, most people hate 'em. Your grade now depends on other people whom you may never have met before, and you've somehow got to do the impossible: find some time when a bunch of super-busy high school or college students can actually meet in person.
Is power like the vis viva and the quantite d’avancement? That is, is it conserved by the universe, or is it like shares of a stock, which may have great value one day, and be worthless the next? If power is like stock shares, then it follows that the immense sum thereof lately lost by B[olingbroke] has vanished like shadows in sunlight. For no matter how much wealth is lost in stock crashes, it never seems to turn up, but if power is conserved, then B’s must have gone somewhere. Where is it? Some say ‘twas scooped up by my Lord R, who hid it under a rock, lest my Lord M come from across the sea and snatch it away. My friends among the Whigs say that any power lost by a Tory is infallibly and insensibly distributed among all the people, but no matter how assiduously I search the lower rooms of the clink for B’s lost power, I cannot seem to find any there, which explodes that argument, for there are assuredly very many people in those dark salons. I propose a novel theory of power, which is inspired by . . . the engine for raising water by fire. As a mill makes flour, a loom makes cloth and a forge makes steel, so we are assured this engine shall make power. If the backers of this device speak truly, and I have no reason to deprecate their honesty, it proves that power is not a conserved quantity, for of such quantities, it is never possible to make more. The amount of power in the world, it follows, is ever increasing, and the rate of increase grows ever faster as more of these engines are built. A man who hordes power is therefore like a miser who sits on a heap of coins in a realm where the currency is being continually debased by the production of more coins than the market can bear. So that what was a great fortune, when first he raked it together, insensibly becomes a slag heap, and is found to be devoid of value. When at last he takes it to the marketplace to be spent. Thus my Lord B and his vaunted power hoard what is true of him is likely to be true of his lackeys, particularly his most base and slavish followers such as Mr. Charles White. This varmint has asserted that he owns me. He fancies that to own a man is to have power, yet he has got nothing by claiming to own me, while I who was supposed to be rendered powerless, am now writing for a Grub Street newspaper that is being perused by you, esteemed reader.
Yes, I read. And yes, I do it a lot. And yes, I did it before you because life can suck and living in a fantasy world is a lot more fun than living in the real world sometimes. This was not a weak choice, it was an informed one....There's not one thing wrong with saying, 'To hell with that garbage,' and immersing myself in worlds where happily ever afters are guaranteed or things are so fantastical, you know they're not real, even the bad stuff. But that doesn't mean that I'm weak or fragile. It doesn't mean I'm incapable of living my life. Everyone finds things they enjoy so they can escape. I'm not a freak.
I never need to find time to read. When people say to me, ‘Oh, yeah, I love reading. I would love to read, but I just don’t have time,’ I’m thinking, ‘How can you not have time?’ I read when I’m drying my hair. I read in the bath. I read when I’m sitting in the bathroom. Pretty much anywhere I can do the job one-handed, I read.
The words you can’t find, you borrow.We read to know we’re not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone. We are not alone.My life is in these books, he wants to tell her. Read these and know my heart.We are not quite novels.The analogy he is looking for is almost there.We are not quite short stories. At this point, his life is seeming closest to that.In the end, we are collected works.He has read enough to know there are no collections where each story is perfect. Some hits. Some misses. If you’re lucky, a standout. And in the end, people only really remember the standouts anyway, and they don’t remember those for very long.No, not very long.
How many people have I heard claim their children as the greatest accomplishment and comfort of their lives? It's the thing they can always lean on during a metaphysical crisis, or a moment of doubt about their relevancy - If I have done nothing else in this life, then at least I have raised my children well.But what if, either by choice or by reluctant necessity, you end up not participating in this comforting cycle of family and continuity? What if you step out? Where do you sit at the reunion? How do you mark time's passage without the fear that you've just fritted away your time on earth without being relevant? You'll need to find another purpose, another measure by which to judge whether or not you have been a successful human being. I love children, but what if I don't have any? What kind of person does that make me?Virginia Woolf wrote, "Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow of a sword." On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where "all is correct." But on the other side of that sword, if you're crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, "all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course." Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring a far more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will also be more perilous.
All people want to belong to some sort of hierarchy. Allow me to explain. The rich want to be the richest; the poor want to be the smartest; those who are both rich and smart want to be the better persons; the better persons want to go to heaven; those who are in heaven will look down upon those who are in hell... there is always some kind of hierarchy desired by everyone; even by those who claim the opposite of this. So how do you find true divinity? Divinity is found in those who reach down low; because it is those who are above who must reach down low, while it is those who are below who must constantly reach for what is above! And this is divinity. What is divine, is what will have a curiosity in what is below. There is no fear of becoming "tainted"; because what is lesser can never really taint what is greater. it is what is greater than is able to transform what is lesser. The alchemist must first find the mud, pick it up, before she is able to transform it into diamond.
The art of not reading is a very important one. It consists in not taking an interest in whatever may be engaging the attention of the general public at any particular time. When some political or ecclesiastical pamphlet, or novel, or poem is making a great commotion, you should remember that he who writes for fools always finds a large public. A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short.
I read and reread and recommended and rarely rejected, became one of those readers who will read trashy stories as long as they're not too terrible--well, even perhaps the truly terrible ones--and will reread something she's already read, even if it's something like a detective novel, when you'd suspect that knowing who had really killed the countess would materially detract from the experience. (It doesn't, and besides, I often can't remember who the murderer was in the first place.)