Voyage of Discovery: The Lost Benefit of Reading

Nephos

Children are often encouraged to read as an avenue to travel to distant lands through their imagination.  This is a useful way of describing to a child the power of imagination and the magic of reading.  We can indeed “travel” through a skillfully-woven tale.

“Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.”

– Mary Schmich

In another sense, reading provides us the opportunity to journey to the land of the author’s perspective.  Travelling physically to a foreign land may stretch us by exposing us to customs, cultures, and viewpoints differing from our own.  Exposure to the ideas and perspectives of an author stretches us and provides one of the great values of reading.

This opportunity for growth may be lost through a common modern approach to interpreting a text.  When I impose my feelings and perception on the text, shaping its meaning according to my personal views, I ignore authorial intent…

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