Reading has been a huge part of almost everybody’s lives. Some are into reading novels, essays, short stories, poems and almost anything that could be found interesting to read. In connection with this phenomenon, this research paper will focus on three basic reasons why one could say that reading is very important based on three specific resources. These references are the following: Good Readers and Good Writers by Vladimir Nabokov, Does a Literary Canon Matters by Katha Pollitt and One Writer’s Beginnings by Eudora Welty.
Moreover, based from these authors, one could actually summarize the importance of reading into three general ideas. First, reading is actually a form of art; a way to articulate one’s self or communicate with other people and even with nature using one’s imagination. Second, it could actually set a person free from ignorance and third, it is one of the tangible actions that a person could use in order to emancipate himself from some forms of repression and thus, understanding your society.
For one, it could actually be considered as one pleasurable hobby or in fact be a part of one’s profession or career. Other people find reading a form of expressing one’s self hence, liberating them from different bondages. In addition to this, these three points are actually intertwined with each other. One will be able to see this as this study goes on. The Good Readers and Good Writers by Nabokov elaborates or explains the first point of this research very well. Because according to the author:
But what I mean is that the reader must know when and where to curb his imagination and this he does by trying to get clear the specific world the author places at his disposal. We must see things and hear things; we must visualize the rooms, the clothes, the manners of an author’s people. (Nabokov, 4) Nabokov basically wants to say that readers should not just be contented with what they understand in the first reading of a book or a novel. That is why the author qualifies a first-rate reader as one who actually “rereads” (qtd. in Nabokov, 3) a book up to actually four times.
The author stresses that this practice establishes a good connection between the imagination of the reader with that of the writer thus, making the process a more enjoyable and sensible one. Through this, Nabokov clarifies that the writer and the reader would be able to enjoy a grand literature. In effect, this would not just benefit the writer but more than anybody else, it would be the readers who would be able to express themselves better through putting their own selves into the story because they get to experience the understandings of the character in the story.
Also, the author believes that: The effort to begin a book, especially if it is praised by people whom the young reader secretly deems to be too old-fashioned or too serious, this effort is often difficult to make; but once it is made, rewards are various and abundant. Since the master artist used his imagination in creating his book, it is natural and fair that the consumer of a book should use his imagination too. (Nabokov, 5) And in connection with this, a reader’s imagination does not only allow him to articulate himself and make a connection with the writer.
Its importance could actually branch out to the liberation of the reader from different human bondages specifically, ignorance. In addition, this, according to Eudora Welty, is the second enumerated importance of reading. With this point, one could actually refer to the highly acclaimed autobiography of New York Times bestseller Welty’s One Writer’s Beginnings. In this book, Welty stated that: As you have seen, I am a writer who came of a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.
(Welty, 104) In this statement, Welty was actually pertaining to her life as a writer. But this idea could also be applied to the significance of reading. If one tries to go over the autobiography of Welty, one will see that the author also went through a strict series of reading and rereading several books. It was even stated in Welty’s life story that when their house caught fire when she was still young, her mother even went back to their house, despite the raging fire, just to get back her collection of Dickens’ books.
This one only shows that they were raised in a way that they will learn how to love books hence, learn as well how to love reading. Meaning, before Welty became a renowned writer, she was already into reading. Some authors even made a huge influence in her writing style. All throughout Welty’s life, one could say that reading liberated her from ignorance about the world around her and this helped her maximize her potentials as a person and most specially, as an excellent writer.
Through the help of her mother, Welty was able to see that there were a lot to change about the world around her. And she was able to successfully achieve this through her writings. She was able to show her readers the importance of reading by bringing them inside each of her stories thus, making her readers treat her stories as their own. Welty allowed her readers to go on a journey to their past and also through her mind. And through this, she was able to liberate them from the bondage of ignorance and to prove that a sheltered life could actually be a daring life as well.