AUTHOR: FRANK OSEI NYAME
”Knowing how to read and not reading books is like
owning skis and not skiing, owning a board and never riding a wave,
or, well, having your favourite sandwich in your hand and not eating it.
If you owned a telescope that would open up the
entire universe for you would you try to find reason for not looking through it?
Because that is exactly what reading is all about;
it opens up the universe of humour, of adventure, of romance,
of climbing the highest mountain, of diving in the deepest sea.
I dare you all, test your strength”
The quote above is an excerpt from a letter Chuck Jones – a legendary animator, screen writer and director – wrote to his class advising them of the need to constantly read. Read the full letter here. He lets us understand how silly it will be of us to know how to read but not reading.
In this article,I will bring to light who ”A Fanatic Reader” is and a few basic need-to-dos to get you up and on your way to becoming more than just an average reader.
Now, note that becoming a fanatic reader does not mean having piles of books in every corner of your home or office, or reading every time, everywhere, all the time – well unless you found an ancient treasure under your bed and you don’t have to ever work again, in which case shutting yourself in a library will be ideal. Rather, becoming a fanatic reader simply means cultivating the discipline in the art of reading.
Yes the fanatic reader is passionate, eager, zealous, enthusiastic, devoted….but not crazy – uncritically enthusiastic or outrageous – as in some definitions of the traditional sense of the word fanatic or fanaticism. The fanatic reader has soul, he doesn’t view reading as a ‘passing acquaintance’ but as a discipline, an art. And he does love to read.
SO WHO IS THE / A FANATIC READER?
Simply put, a fanatic reader is an avid and soulfully cultured(disciplined) reader. Soulful in the sense that he/she has reading at heart.
There are no strict underlying rules to becoming this kind of reader, but here are three basic steps to take to becoming a fanatic reader.
ACTUALLY READ – Reading opens us to so may different worlds as we read earlier from Chuck Jones. Indeed it will be silly knowing how to read but not reading , and this like any ”how-to” , the first step is actually making a move at it.Cultivate it. Make it a habit, make it a hobby. Read books, articles, newspapers, magazines, blogs, notices, even inscriptions in shirts.Now wait there, am not telling you to attack people in the street to read the inscriptions in their shirts ( unless you have a taste for cocktail pills and a straitjacket). What i mean is that you shouldn’t let go of any opportunity to read. Read wide, but also read well. You are not in a speed reading contest, no rushing!
KNOW YOUR STUFF – To every reader and what best works for them. Apreciating a piece of written text is very subjective as much as it is objective. That is why there are several genres of books and other written literary works. Know what genre works for you. As a very good friend of mine will say, know what ”tickles you”. This way you never feel lost when you go book hunting. If you are one with a wild a imagination, then you might want to consider books and works in the science fiction, adventure and fantasy genres. If love is what tickles you, then you might want to go straight to the romance sections. Of course a book can be classified under more than just one genre.And there is enough genres to whet any kind of appetite you have.
OWN BOOKS – I love owning books! And i do love hand picking my books from the bookshelves myself. The feeling is…refreshing and fulfilling. It puts me in this state where i can’t wait to get home to devour the book. And my! new books smell gooood!. Buy books, make a little library in your home if you can afford it. This way you are in no rush as you will be with borrowed library books. Make books a permanent accessory. Have at least a book with you when travelling or going to your favourite spa. Don’t be bothered if you can’t find a book you want in your local bookshop, because thanks to Larry Page and Sergey Brin we have an ever willing genie called Google, who grants us all our wishes, use it. Search for pdfs and e-books of books you want and read on your computer, tablets and smartphones. Don’t worry if you phone is not so smart, there is still something for you there. Some of the popular apps and sites are GOODREADS, WATTPAD, SCRIBD, AMAZON. Some of these sites offer free e-books and some you have to buy.Also having soft copies of books means lighter packing and several books at the tap of you finger.
Reading brings us to new worlds of possibilities. It brings us comfort at times and it could be the just that relaxation therapy you have been needing all the while. Reading is healthy for the mind, but also know that the mind is very susceptible to the materials fed it. As you embark on this reading journey you should keep an open mind, choose your books well because what you read will groom and shape your life in so many ways. Now if you are ready, lets go on a book hunt!
HERE ARE SOME OTHER TIPS:
- use libraries
- take good care of books
- get a dictionary
- read comfortably
- don’t rush through books
- challenge yourself, read wide
- fellowship with other book lovers
- read something everyday