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Rant #457
(published October 22, 2009)
Talking About Reading
by Onyenezi Chika Victor
Then tell me how the world came to be?

Well the answer to this question you can get only by reading (primarily, though other sources are available today). Maybe turning the pages of your Bible or you Koran or your-any-other works-of-fairytale that can answer your question. Reading is a clever act that sets you aside from the very sense of your existence and transports you to a higher realm of reality, the type of reality that broadens your horizon. Like young Copperfield in Charles Dickens masterpiece David Copperfield spent time reading when locked in the room full of books, he recounts how this act of punishment changed his life to make him what he became; a master story-teller. He recounts that each time he practices this act, he felt free, and he felt new, he felt transported to another world.

Let's look at a question posed at three individuals:

Do you read?

Look at these answers:

Yes, I read new newspapers
Yes, I do read anything that comes my way
Yes, I prefer fiction
No, I don't, no time
I really don't appreciate the first person; he is lacking the essence of appreciation. He is doomed not to know what is hidden in other form of works like fiction. I once came across a fellow of this character in school, who claims to read non-fiction only owing to the fact that fiction teaches nothing real. Well I told him that it taught him nothing because he never spent his time for it. But in return I posed these monster questions at him: How can a man who has never been to Paris know about the place without fiction? How can a man who has never been to Wessex in England know about it without the aid of Thomas Hardy? How can you know the touch of the sun in your soul without fiction? How can you become civilized in an uncivilized place without fiction? How can the non-fiction persevere without a taste of fiction?

The second person is my ideal reader. He is a man who can stumble unto opportunities with what he reads. Anything that comes his way makes a good read (if it is beautifully written). No specific type of writing is better than the other; all has their truth hidden in the fragment of letters.

The third person specifically prefers fiction. I think him a bit wrong here. What about non-fiction? Though left for me alone, I prefer fiction but still need to savour non-fiction and its good news. Shifting my eyes over the newspaper keeps me abreast with the happenings of the world. At times I pick memoirs and other non-fictions to read because they tell me what I ought to know about people, things and the world at large.

I detest and fear the person that said I don't know. It breaks my heart to see an adult answer like that. If you can't read you can't write. If you can't read you are lost in this world! Every fact and truth of the earth are buried in books, there they will stay eternally.

What you read makes you, what you read teaches you, what you read breaks you, what you read helps you. Why not read and read and read and read. It's a message from me to you and you and you and you.

Onyenezi Chika Victor studies Computer Science at Caritas University, Enugu, Nigeria and is a peace activist with the Green Lake Peace Network founded by Dr. Claude Shema-Rutagwengwa. He is an editor for AuthorMe.com.

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