Reading, an essential

One may ask, why is reading important ?

I do a lot of reading everyday and it seems to serve no purpose.

– A commoner

Actually, reading is always confused with the physical act of interpreting the scribbled letters and following what is being communicated. Whereas reading is much more than that. Comprehending what is written is only the first step towards the larger context that is yet to be described.

Reading as mere interpretation of instructions is actually the resultant of excessive penetration of computer application in our daily routines. We have started liking ‘following instructions’ and exercising the choices that the ‘system’ provides.

One interesting insights can be drawn from a recent article authored by Amy J. Ko, a professor at Information School at University of Washington. In the article, Amy J. Ko highlights the stark absence of ‘books’ from the curriculum for Computer Science. While describing her experience as a student of Computer Science student, she writes –

There were no books in the curriculum, aside from textbooks, and textbooks were often only used for the problem sets they contained, rather than the ideas or arguments they presented. 

Amy J. Ko, Professor Information School at University of Washington.

This absence of books and reading activity from her student life was compensated for by her teacher who would recommend her particular books that she could read and develop an acumen to think !

She also contends that generic reading is merely an objective task at hand to be completed. Reading out of curiosity on the other hand brings another dimension to the things being read about. It helps the reader to imagine the subject without being asked to ‘understand’ how the subject works and how you can make it work in future.

Curiosity is indeed the secret sauce of meaningful reading.

Without curiosity, reading is just a little more than mere eyeball movement i.e Do as Directed !

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