Cultivate Your Reading Habit
We may say with cer tainty that the more one reads, the better one unde rstands ; and that thebet ter one understands, the more one is inclined to read. In other words, from reading comesunderstanding, and from understanding comes more reading. The reading habit is actuallycultivated by reading itself.
Now let us discuss the question of what to read. There are books on various subjects — history, literature, philosophy, science, fine arts, etc. When you a re to choose from among a vastnumber of subjects the best books to read, you will feel quite at sea. I therefore suggest that, before you proceed to read any book, you try to find out what others have done before you, that is read the results of other people's labour first. Usually newspapers or magazines arealways your convenient guide to the world of best writings.
Another problem is how to read. Here, I would offer two suggestions: concent ration andreflection. You cannot well unde rstand what is said in book s unless you concent rate yourmind on what you read. And then you must think over what you have read. This is reflectionwhich helps to s ummarize your reading . To a great extent , concentration and reflectionare interdependent.
A reading habit thus formed will prove valuable to you. Whenever you have spare time, youwill resort not to places of pleasure, but to the bookshelves, you will not feel lonesome whenyou are alone, because you can see all kinds of characters moving and acting on the pages, andyou can hear all kinds of good counsel. In the long run, your imaginative power will beincreased, your esthetic sensibility heightened, your vocabulary enlarged, and finally your ability ofwriting tremendously improved.