It’s may have been around 6 months since I made one of the first posts detaling my enjoyment of the film 1984. I’ve come a long way since then. Through the portfolio of pieces I’ve written, at the most 3 in one week, as if I was doing nothing but writing, to the slower and more gradual output of one a week, written more in the style of an essay in which I’d do a first draft to ensure its quality. Not only has my writing and content (hopefully)improved but also my ability to learn. I’ve taken to the hobby of reading.
Ever since I was required to read The Woman in Black as part of my English GCSE course last year it pushed me into the paper format for learning. It’s something I’ve never really done. I might own a good collection of history books but they’re mainly for show, when I bought them I had every intention of reading them but after the first few pages the interested petered out. In my comprehensive days I only read read pages of textbooks required for lesson without much interest. But now things seem to have changed, for the better. My desire to expand my knowledge combined with the forced reading of The Woman in Black has opened a new world.
Given the bus journeys which I take regularly to college, a good 40 minutes each way, I’ve got some ample time to expand my knowledge through the paper format. I mean I could read the Metro which is free on the bus I get but it doesn’t really interest me. For me published books are the way forward, after all getting a book published requires a lot more than some hatchet job or gossip stop in a paper. Not only that but unlike articles on the internet, which require a good thorougher search or ones from the paper, which if you miss an edition and no one you know has one then you’re basically goofed, books can be found congregating on the dusty shelves of stores such as Waterstones or one of the most important public services, the library. In the Library is a plethora of different novels, historical accounts and academic pieces which are displayed in their volumes, ready for those who seek to find that which is sought. One benefit is that unlike their media brothers books usually last for quite a good week or two, deeper in insight and depth of the detail.
The books I mainly read are political in nature, ranging from George Orwells infamous 1984, an introduction to ideologies and even books written by that notorious leftie Owen Jones. That last one may surprise a few people. It has given me an opportunity to read different points of view however. This is incredibly important as it allows me to release the shackles of conformation bias, helping me to see the larger picture and increase my knowledge, giving me a greater understanding of things. Bias is certainly one of the things which plagues online columns but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What is bad is sticking within your own conformation bias bubble which is a lot harder to break on the internet I find as you can always just close the tab and never look at it again, where as with books you feel encouraged to read through.
It has certainly not only changed the way I learn but also my tenacity to learn. Reading has thus become an important part of my self education and ultimately self enlightenment, its like my own rebellion against the unconscious ignorance which we all suffer. Quite a liberating experience if I must say so. Reading also allows me to maximize the use of spare time, making me as efficient as possible, an important step for self improvement.
While reading is not easy, its certainly worth it.