Monday, July 5, 2010

A Slow Reader (corrected version)

Ever since I can remember reading has been an arduous task for me. Not because I don’t like literature or acquisition of information; on the contrary I do. But reading has been difficult because somewhere around second or third grade I had some really bad reading teachers. And at the same time I believe they dropped phonics training for whatever reason and that surely didn’t help me.

The earliest recollection I have of my reading challenges were sitting around a table with other kids. We were asked to read our assigned portion and then move to the next person in the circle, and so on and so forth. You’ve got the picture, kids reading Dick and Jane around the circle. Harmless... right?

Well, I was very slow and struggled with pronunciation. When it was my turn to read, my struggle was so evident and my nerves overwhelmed me that several other kids in the circle would begin to guffaw and groan as if to say… “Come on, hurry up, you’re so slow” with rolled eyes. That was painful to say the least.

As a result I would flair up and tell them to shut up. Then they would argue back with me and then the teacher would get fed up with the situation and blame me and move me from the circle. She would tell me to go read on my own. I would be assigned a desk by the window in the back of the room where I wouldn’t be such a distraction to the better impatient readers.

That was horrendous because not only was it embarrassing, but it retarded my reading development to a great degree.

So here I sit, almost 50 and I love to read but I’m extremely slow. As a result, if and when I want to read something it takes me what seems like a very long time to labor through a book. I think I clocked myself at around 20 pages per hour. I know it depends on the depth of the material, but somehow the deeper the work the more retention I experience (maybe because depth requires slowness and contemplation), but nonetheless reading is a labor of love for me.

So let me ask you; are the good things in life hard for you? For instance, is reading a challenge or a bore to you? Is study of important information hard for you? Do you struggle with impatience when things don’t make sense to you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re not alone.

The problem is the best information and experiences in life are sometimes difficult to attain. Often the best things in life are NOT on the low shelf. Therefore one must scale heights of access to reach the best fruit. And unfortunately many simply give up.

As for me, I’m not giving up. I’m not going to stop reading, but on the contrary, I will press on. For somewhere in the mass amounts of literature and information out there, TRUTH exists. Oh it may be mixed in with all sorts of other things, but if one consumes enough material that is seeded with truth, a very powerful composite picture and understanding of truth begins to emerge.

And TRUTH, not just facts, but TRUTH sets us free. Beware though; we live in a world of facts. Most people can easily discern facts, but our ability to string strategic facts together into a necklace of TRUTH that makes sense can take time and contemplation, but fear not, the process is worth it.

On that note, I’ll go ahead and read a few pages and let the facts pour in and pray for God’s Spirit to show me the TRUTH and cull out error. Read on my friends… read on.

DISCLAIMER: I have many friends and even a few relatives who read very widely and deeply. If that’s you, don’t condemn me if you think my reading is shallow. I try to plumb the deeps when I can, but then again I don’t swim very well, so sometimes I stay in the shallow waters.

Ex Libris

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