Today marks the first time in a long time, a very long time that i get back to reading. September 7th, and finished reading a book.
I just completed ‘Americanah’ by Chimamanda A. Ngozie.
Completing it almost seemed impossible for me.
I remember the last time i read (i mean reading a proper book; novel, poetry, literature, fiction hand book not an electronic copy as we mostly see now) was back in my highschool days. And now i am back to ‘the books’. Usually i will read for at most two days and complete but this time, it took me two weeks. Exactly two weeks.
I nearly gave up but because it was an objective which i had made a priority, i told myself “there’s no way you are not finishing this book”. It feels like a self accomplishment; I have proven to myself capable of reading again.
I would not say what took me so long to finish was that the book was boring or that the literature involved was quite complex, rather, it was my level of vocabulary that sucked. I just was not used to the words probably because i did not read that much anymore and was contented by the homogeneity of my vocabulary in University essays. I took longer because I heckled up the meaning of difficult words in a dictionary. It personally surprised me to see how degraded my level was. Me who thought i knew enough, me who thought reading was meant for those with English problems, me who thought my grammar or vocabulary needed no touch as i had studied in English all my life. And there i was unable to define words, reading slowly because i took more time in making sense out of sentences. May be it was all laziness. Or perhaps i was just a partisan of minimal efforts.
It is so shocking how many people fall in this array. Thinking that they already know and don’t need to know more. Well, I thought as most of them and i was wrong. I need to constantly enhance my vocabulary. Reading is a big key to that. Now that i am through with this first book, i can’t wait to start that other ones. Very funny, i have books, i have always had them, in my drawers and shelves. I loved going to bookshops and buy them but when it came to reading, i never really opened them. Its only now i realise i was making a fool of myself, pretending all this while to be a big intellectual by accumulating books meanwhile they had never been opened. its never too late to start reading again my lovely…
If you are wondering why you should border yourself reading, while you’ve studied or spoken that language all your life, then this post is for you. Nowadays, everything (almost) have electronic copies. You can read a book from your screen, browse over the internet and even download it. Basically what i mean is that you no longer have to buy a hard copy of a book and hold it in your hands to say you are reading. The main reason i will say should motivate you (me) to effectively read is that reading gives a competitive advantage to succeed where others cannot and this applies to all endeavours. From the book i read, i already feel different. Completely stimulated intellectually (in vocabulary, style) and even vision. ‘You can’t read and remain unchanged’ is what i will say to anyone that begins to read. In reading, you get valuable lessons.
Take reading as though you were putting time to get a knowledge advantage. Despite this years not reading, i have always had an affinity for it because i love it and i understand that it is an accreditation to success. This journey, should i say new beginning as a reader, regardless of my endeavours, upbringing, current situation or even the path i have decided or wish to take in life, reading is key to upward mobility.
As Malcom X said as cited by Gary W. (2014) in his study of successful people, ‘Reading may not guarantee success, but it surely increases the chances of it’ which i totally agree to and believe is true. Fortunately, the amount of time we spend reading is entirely up to us and within our control, yet, i choose to seize every bit of it.