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已有 69 次阅读2020-7-22 07:23 |系统分类:其他分类




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We may as well mark out the difference between two ways of reading expressed in synonyms which can be used interchangeably in Chinese. Here I’d like to interpret one as mechanical reading and the other as intelligent reading. In a like manner we can distinguish touring with traveling. The former is preferred to the latter so far as today’s fashion goes. In terms of education, it is mechanical reading rather than intelligent reading that is prevailing.


School life can be likened to a battle in which all the participants are equipped with bags of schemes to achieve good results in examinations. As soon as the session is over, they throw into oblivion all that they’ve mechanically memorized before they know what grades they are given. This mental state shows clearly that books are meant to be recited, no more no less. The moment their purpose is served, they are done away with. Nobody bothers to pay any attention to their contents, let alone digest them.


It follows naturally that reading this way won’t lead to anywhere near Paradise even if one has finished a great amount of books. Numerous evidences are there for the asking. Don’t you see how joyful those girls are when they celebrate the end of examinations by throwing away their books? It is the strongest proof that reading is done merely by rote. Also the popular saying: “A novice chants scriptures – he moves his mouth without troubling his mind.” Nothing else illustrates the point more satisfactorily.


On the other hand, intelligent reading never aims at examination results. It requires devotion – one has to devote time and energies to extensive reading from which to draw useful materials. Then proceed from comparison and analysis to assimilation. Reading this way is prompted by interest and done in earnestness. There may be stopovers on the way, but certainly no end.


It is a long-distance travel, an endless process of opening up vistas for the mind; while mechanical reading is but a short tour along the narrow path of worldliness with one’s view never beyond one’s nose. The former enlivens one like life-giving spring rain and breeze, resulting in a well-cultivated mind to last as long as he lives; the latter makes one muddle along, engages him in a battle of examinations to fight for diplomas, and end up in fruitlessness.


There are too many people in the world engaged in mechanical reading, only a few read intelligently. That’s because the latter demands two requisites – interest and stamina – for it to travel far and wide.

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