We Read To Learn


One morning I woke up looking for the small pocket book I was reading the other night. Yes, I've been sleeping with books all my life. It's not necessary that I understand them all, but they do secure me, my thoughts and my emotions.

For some students or those who would take examinations, they get into that joke of getting a high score if they sleep with their books. They say it's like having memorized pages in the book. However, this comes to be a myth because they have to honestly know the idea and/or texts by heart, if there is an exam.

Back then, I was into collecting thoughts and tips, in miniatures and bulks of sheets. In fact, even today, my bag carries all sorts of papers, sheets, calling cards with reminders, table napkins, and ripped texts. I know I couldn't get rich with this habit. And sometimes, it's embarrassing when tucked into my pencil case-wallet, sheets fly with bills when lifted. Maybe, here I come disorganized.

But I can't stop reading! Reading is such a personal matter. It is me and the author. Sometimes, it is with the other readers and experts. Often, it is with a mentor. In many ways, I show gratitude for authors and writers I have only read and studied in books and other forms of literature. They're part of my life and growth. I make them my own, in some way, during the reading process and perhaps, beyond forgetting for the rest of my life.

There are several ways to read, but only one way to learn reading. That one way is reading practice, and those several ways are brainstorming ideas, writing-down notes, and using the texts as you make them your own, among others.

Moreover, reading must be an active process. Ideas gained from the reading materials have to work into your mind and be integrated with your experiences and others you might have learned from other writers or experts.

Some students get supplemental reading materials, if they find difficulty reading some books and texts. What I share to my students (especially to non-native English speakers), is to read the texts several times. I tell them it is common not to understand everything in one reading, so they have to read them over again, and again, and again. Or, for those who easily get bored, I'd say "You get an idea and express them with the text and/or in your own understanding." I know everyone is not actually into slow reading, but more on comprehension and communication, as the essential nature of reading, is to learn.

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