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Reading, a rewarding journey
Author:Wang Yupin  Date:2017-05-31  Clicks:

Recently, the list of 2017 Reading Stars was released according to the record of their borrowing volume from the Wuhan University Library. These award-winners shared their reading experience, and recommended books worth reading. Their passion for reading is of great value in this blundering era, inspiring us to introspect ourselves.


List of award-winners

Make reading a life-long company

Book lovers use different words to define reading. They call it a friend, habit or even faith. The top arts reading star Han Penghui said, “My relationship with reading is beyond love and hate. For me, a book is more like a lover. I appreciate her beauty, as well as her flaw.” Li Guangguang, whose borrowing ranks top among science students, also compares the passion for reading to falling in love with someone, “It’s purely subjective, which is hard to explain. I would like to describe reading as a faith, because it is a soul’s harbor for me.”

We start reading even before literacy, but quite a few of us quit reading at certain stages of our life. People find all kinds of excuses to stop reading, or just feel that it is too late to pick it up. In fact, restoring the habit of reading at any time is appropriate. “Reading doesn’t necessarily mean calmness, it can also be inspiring and energetic,” said Han, “Just read, it is a trainable habit.” Mr. Yang Jiang, the famous Chinese writer and translator, once told her father “three days without reading makes her uncomfortable, a week without reading makes her feel lifeless for a whole week.” Maybe it is hard for everyone to reach this height, but we can enjoy the company of books for the rest of our lives.


Exhibition boards shown in the library

Reading in contemporary society

Witnessing that paper book has been losing their attraction in recent decades due to emerging new media and digital devices, pessimists begin to worry about the future of the paper book, as well as the habit of reading. Disordered and fragmentary information online often mislead people; however, if used properly, progress of technology can mediate the burden of heavy paper books and enable us to read more flexibly. “We need someone to lead the way,” said Li, “Our readers should catch up with new media, as well as stick to traditional paper reading.” According to Li, a paper book is not only an inheritance of culture, but also a place to settle our mind.

The fragmentation of reading has triggered a kind of fast food literature for instant gratification. But knowing how to distinguish main dishes from fast food is essential. This doesn’t mean that quick books must be trash. Just like fast food can feed us, reading these books can help maintain the reading habit. But when we sit down at a desk, it is time to enjoy main dishes---the classics.

Books make a better man

This is a common concept that books stand for knowledge, but reading can bring us much more than knowledge. “Different from sensory stimulations, reading brings long-lasting joy,” said Li. The feeling of connecting with characters in the story, and communicating with the author is the happiness that only belongs to readers. Han describes the joy that reading brings, “This joy can exist in thousands of forms.”

Changes brought by reading are displayed in people’s behaviors and thoughts. “I wouldn’t be able to write down original thoughts if I didn’t read,” Li said. Independent thinking enables people to see clearly and struggle for a better result, instead of resigning to everything. Although sometimes sentences in the books were almost completely erased from your memory, their impact on you will never disappear.


Focused reader beside a bookshelf

Knowing more through reading makes us appreciate the world more. Masters’ views intersect at this point. Romain Rolland said, “There is only one heroism in the world: to see the world as it is, and to love it.” A representative of Neo-Confucians Ma Yifu expresses it in another way. “One has known the broad world, yet still favors a blade of grass.” A broad mind with love and sympathy, that is what readers are always chasing for.


Edited by Li Minjia, Edmund Wai Man Lai & Hu Sijia


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