I am so excited about today’s post! Some of you may already know, but it’s been weighing heavily on my heart for some time now about a certain topic that is close to my heart…the art of reading.
And not just reading, but reading ethics, specifically.
I know, I sound kind of bland when I say it like this, but ever since I reviewed my reading in this blog post, I’ve been extra conscious about how I read, what I read, and why I read. It’s probably going to be a bit controversial, and some people may disagree with what I’m going to say. But if you’ve ever felt like your reading has stagnated, or worse, deteriorated in some way, hang tight!
Without further ado, I present to you: Rethinking Reading Ethics.
But first things first, what the deuce is Reading Ethics? Well, put it simply, this is what I call the 5W1H of Reading.
5W1H is WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, and HOW. Ethics is about the heart of reading–what is truly deep and meaningful reading? Why do we read what we read? When are we more prone to read, and how can we align reading with our beliefs?
Those are what Reading Ethics are about.
What is of wanting most when we think about Reading Ethics is “Why do we read?” One exercise I often do whenever I don’t understand the reason I did something or think the way I do is asking myself “Why?” five times. I applied this principle to the question of reading ethics and why I read:
- Why do I read?
- I inhale [when I read]
- Knowledge is power
- Stories give me power
- I am found [through stories]
- Books complete me
Wow. Starting from an abstract statement like “I inhale when I read”, I got myself to admit that reading books complete something inside me. Let’s take a look at my response to reading ethics.
- I want to rethink and reinvent my reading ethics.
- Quantity is never quality
- I only have so much time
- I want to focus on what really matters in my life
- We are what we eat
- I want to focus on God’s design and truth for my life
I think I already sort of knew the whys for this question, but it was still good to sort out my thoughts and reasonings. If you’re curious about what you think about reading, take a moment right now to ask yourself, “Why do I read?” and “Why do I want to rethink/reinvent my reading ethics?” (Or if you don’t think you need to, still ask yourself why you don’t need to rethink it.)
BEFORE & AFTER
I also made a chart outlining what I was seeing in my reading ethics (specifically of 2020) and comparing it with what I wanted to see in 2021 or what it used to be like (circa 2019).
|I read books that interested me or/and was on a reading list|
My reading habit became inconsistent (ref. Reading Pie chart)
|I will read in a rigorous way that takes into account my entire reading diet|
It will improve imbalance and open new avenues and perspectives!
|Quantity mattered more|
Constructing a strong reading habit mattered, but quality fell away the more I read
|Quality will matter more|
What I put inside me is much more important than how much I have inside
|I read to meet due dates and became stressed|
I was borrowing too many books and not reading the books that mattered to me
|I will only borrow books once a month and return them before I borrow more|
This will help with sorting out the books that really matter to me
From the above points, I realised that books had weight to them as grades did. Honours classes are much tougher than a normal class load, as do AP classes. Classics are much denser than YA. Specifically, Classic nonfiction is denser than classic fiction. Classic fiction dated after the 19th century is less dense than ones before that date. Scientific nonfiction is about as dense as Literary Fiction.
Of course, these are my perspectives, and I know some people will disagree with me, but I came to realise I wanted to surround myself with books that were truly deep and meaningful. If you’re interested, take a look at my Weighted Book Chart.
READING LIST 0.5
So with these insights in my head, I came up with a new reading habit. I read not only because it’s fun and liberating, but because it’s my way of expanding horizons and becoming better equipped to serve God.
- Omnibus 1 list*
- Omnibus 2
- Omnibus 3
- Omnibus 4
- Onibus 5
- Omnibus 6
*Omnibus is a Veritas Press classical education program. This is the list if you’re interested 🙂
And that’s my rough reading list. I might change the order, but that’s what my current reading habits look like. As far as this month is going, I’m glad I made the switch since I feel much healthier in my reading diet reverting to more classics and books I don’t read as often. If I have more time in the month than what I have allotted, then I might read extra fiction or two.
This is my way of Rethinking Reading Ethics.
What do you think? How can you rethink your reading ethics? Do you know why you read the book you read? What do the books you read tell about you? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!