Saturday, July 04, 2015

just read

Last Friday, an 18-year-old asked me how to be good at mentally processing a question and delivering the answer to the public with ease. I was caught off-guard all I said was, I guess it all starts with a habit of reading. Read as much as you can. Anything. Especially those that are out of your comfort zone. All these challenge you to think. The kid asked if Wattpad counts. “I guess, but I prefer books in actual paper,” I said smiling. The screen is a perfect distraction for more distractions.

I am no expert in public extemporaneous speaking but I think I have given the best advice. Reading, even though it has the reputation as the stuff of boredom in the digital age, is still the easiest means of sharpening and broadening the mind. In fact the skill one would acquire with reading greatly helps in any endeavor one takes. Why? It improves communication, the very basic ingredient of communal understanding.

Ironically, for a country that is liberated or “freed” from the tyranny of its colonizers with Jose Rizal’s works of literature, we are a nation that is populated by people who do not seem to value the art of reading. So logout of Facebook, close that Grindr app, let go of that selfie camera, and stop thinking of the next pub crawl for a couple of minutes. Take time to read. Make your national hero proud. Show his efforts were worth it.

And this brings me to the book haul I’ve had last Monday. Originally priced at hundreds of bucks each, I got books on fiction, poetry, and history that were less than a quarter of their cost. Achievement unlocked: Book Hunter Level no. 76!

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