January 15, 2010

Books are poisons

Reading reading reading.... and then started day dreaming about words people say about reading.

My Ancient Chinese Study teacher in college is a person with a lot of characteristics. She's knowledgable, calm, however in a way, indifferent sometimes. She read so many books, knows about all the histories and ancient readings, and what she told us one day was "Books are poisons...You're poisoned right at the moment you open a book." Obviously it shocked everybody, including me. I couldn't forget what she said. And her reasoning was difficult to argue. She said, "Because once you started reading, you started absorbing the knowledge, and you would gradually or even just a bit being influenced by the contents in the book. Maybe you learnt something new, your views are different, your thinkings have changed...etc. But are you sure what's in the book are good for you, or your learning?"

It's so difficult, isn't it? To have the ability to read selectively and critically all the time. You need to have a very strong mind, yet a very open heart to learn new ideas. It's an art, and a wisdom.


Another saying is more common to our daily lives -- Walking for a thousand miles wins over reading a thousand books. (direct translation) or "He that travels far knows much."

Then I started having ichy feet....... :-)

- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Hey Lavinia!!! Are you convinced “Books are poison”?? Well I am not. I personally like reading books but from where I see it there are various ways and reasons for reading and learning from books. I agree with you where you said when you start reading, you start absorbing knowledge, but it’s entirely up to the person to what and when should they absorb that knowledge should they choose to absorb it. For example, some students like to read books and like to state the authors opinion in their assignments and do not think about the source and quality of information .This lesson is learnt from Graham Knowles which he often refer to as decision based evidence making (meaning where you blindly find information sometimes out of context and sometimes to support the wrong case). Whereas, the right approach is look at any information from a suspicious way and not to agree with it, until it is backed by some good source or statistics (undisputed and unbiased ones). In fact I would argue that is that not one of master degree’s objective (to differentiate between quality of information). It is not as difficult as it seems, the key to it is there are no shortcuts to success and true knowledge. Therefore, if you hunting for true knowledge one needs to look at various sources and allow your brain to be like a filtration plant, where only good and solid information passes through.

    15 Jan 2010, 18:06

  2. Yes Umar, :-) You’re absoultely right. I know it and I try to read critically. I was just thinking about life and possibilities.
    Sometimes when I read, I subconciously indulge myself into the words pool…I get addicted to the words and what it really means.
    I started having a lot of thoughts…and then I simply lose focus :-p

    The whole lesson for me to learn is ‘concentration’ and ‘persistance’ I guess :-)

    Thanks for sharing :-) keep it coming!

    15 Jan 2010, 18:15

  3. This is a very interesting topic to me, mind me share my bits of perspectives here.

    I personally like to read books, but usually those business related. I’ve read a few interesting ones and of course those not so interesting ones.
    Reading is good, but i do not recommend sticking to one author. Always look for different authors for different perspectives that focuses on one similar issues(hardly be the same, one issue).

    In order to take reading as a habit (people hardly takes reading as a habit nowadays), it is important to find the reason of reading. Give yourself a reason to read that particular book, then you will realise that reading does increase the knowledge.

    From my experience in reading, it changes according to my experience throughout. When i was in high school, i like to read comic…Then i started to read about communication related books, including Communicating with Girls books…then i started to read about Motivational books, to keep me motivated and away from the ‘comminucation’ books…and these years, i started to read about business environment, management…etc.

    I believe that the purpose in reading is important to keep the reading habit to be continuous. Of course, as it goes along, you will start to collect and able to critic towards the ideas and points of the author. By the time, reading will become an Art and the purpose of reading will lead towards Wisdom!

    18 Jan 2010, 17:31

  4. Cheers William, it certainly added a lot of value to me. Sometimes I just need to rest and motivate myself again to find the reasons to read. Sometimes it takes me a long time to read, but I didn’t get the feedback as I expected from the book. Just sort of being not so efficient as I hoped.

    I guess that’s becoz now I’m reading a lot more books that I didn’t tend to read before :-) which is a good thing I guess. kinda expanded my horizons and views. and I’m sure reading is a great way to absorb knowledge, I always believe so.

    I said books are poisons becoz when I rested from the books the other day, those words came into my mind… and then I gotta start the whole brain cleaning process to continue the hard work.

    Will def. keep reading and pursue for wisdom!! :-D

    18 Jan 2010, 17:41

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