There seem to be several ways of reading. Let’s see together how to distinguish them. Note that one reading often combines two or three ways of reading.
It is the gateway to the world of reading. Most often, the passion for books is born during childhood for fictional genres. Learning to love reading simply consists of seeing these objects as the expression of an imaginary or unknown world. Finding an author whose style and ideas appeal to us can be a blessing in the sense that books provide us with daily comfort, a break from the frenzy of the world around us. There is no more carefree way to start reading than with entertainment. It is even from this angle of reading that we become the most voracious, the most extreme. So, sometimes, we have to accept a form of excess because it rhythms with passion and thirst for discovery. Entertainment is the figurehead of the world of reading; it guides us in our first years of discovery of the object that is the book. Yet it hides other dimensions of reading.
A book is also the key to a treasure trove of concepts. You can open as many chests as you like, you will never be able to quench your thirst for knowledge with books, they are infinite. Each non-fiction or romance book contains a plethora of ideas that can give you a clearer representation of reality or at least put words to misunderstandings and doubts. Conceptualizing means having a safety net that allows you to catch up in difficult moments and offers you resilience in the face of life’s hazards. Conceptualization is good but pushed to its extreme, it becomes erudition which is only an intermediate stage in the path of reading.
In order to assimilate the ideas you will be confronted with in your reading, you will often have to read the book you are holding in your hands several times. To make an idea the thread of your life, you will need to meditate on it for months or even years. Thus, you will not be able to afford to read a multitude of disparate books. Your quest will focus on a particular lexical field that corresponds to only a tiny portion of the book world. You will not be able to collect concepts here and there in the ocean of ideas, you will have to stay on course. Frequently, we oscillate between these 3 attitudes towards reading, but after a while we come to fixate on a particular approach that can sometimes say a lot about who we are.
If you are looking for entertainment, you can spend your life reading thousands of books.
If you’re looking to conceptualize, you’ll probably have to focus on a hundred books that you may read over and over again.
Finally, if it is assimilation that interests you, your choice will only be limited to a dozen deep books that you will have to read over and over again so that their words will forever vibrate in your heart and mind.