Why We Read

Why We Read

Reading is one of the most exciting activities, but for some people, it can be very boring. According to UNESCO, the average reading interest in Indonesia is very low. Here’s a fun fact for you, ET Mates: the purpose of why people started to read and write, at the very beginning, is to support civilization. By that, they mean to make communication way more effective. 

Now, imagine if suddenly the people in the entire world cannot read. That would be massive chaos! People cannot send an e-mail or, worse, do not know that there is a global pandemic happening. We can say that reading is one of the most sophisticated qualities a human being can have. Therefore, people who can read are privileged because they can communicate directly and transparently even to people who live on the other side of the world. 

Another exciting fact; by reading you can also hear voices from the dead! No, we’re not talking about horror stories. You know the story of many great people like Abraham Lincoln, Princess Diana, and RA Kartini who lived decades (even centuries) ago. Thus, you can know and feel what struggles RA Kartini went through when she had to defend women’s rights in Indonesia. Also, you can understand how Princess Diana felt about how hard it was to be royalty.

Also read: Reading For A Better Future 

In other words, reading is always an imagining of how it’s like to be someone else. That’s what happens every time you receive a text from your best friend or significant other saying that today is the worst day ever. When you are reading the text, you become a little more empathetic. Then you will ask what happened to them, or furthermore, how you can help. We, actually, read stories almost every time. We read stories from our mom on Whatsapp or from Beyonce on Twitter. 

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Stories are all about communication, ET Mates, while reading is an active empathy. So when you read about the fairy godmother changing Cinderella’s rag clothes into a gorgeous-expensive-glamorous gown, the author did it on purpose. Authors do it so the story can have a bigger and better life in your head. So that’s the power of reading! You just open a book and go make a world. It is like a live movie played inside your head with you as the person in charge of the whole filmmaking. Isn’t it exciting?!

Now, everyone frequently asks, “what benefits do I get from reading a book for my daily activity?” These three points will open your eyes and make you want to immediately open a book and read; (1) by reading your brain will have a fuller understanding of lives, other than your own which (2) makes you more sensible and mindful of what’s going on in this life. 

Therefore, (3) reading critically and thoroughly gives you linguistic tools to make you sound more accurate and authentic when you are telling your own story. People will understand you better because you explain it better too. You can use these linguistic tools when you are negotiating with your clients. You can literally just activate these linguistic tools implied inside your brain whenever and whatever you want. This is one of the tools we need in our daily activity such as negotiating, discussing, and proposing. Now if you see a book nearby, grab and read it. Go make a whole new world. 

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