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Reading To Learn Essay

1055 words - 5 pages

Reading to learn

Richard Rodriguez was born on July 31, 1944, in San Francisco, California, to Mexican immigrants Leopoldo and Victoria Moran Rodriguez. Rodriguez received degrees from both Stanford and Columbia University, he also did graduate study at the University of California, Berkeley and the Warburg Institute, London. Richard Rodriguez became nationally known after publishing his autobiography “Hunger of memory”. Rodriguez's essay, “The lonely, good company of books” was published in his autobiography “Hunger of memory” in 1982. Rodriguez's thesis in his essay, “The lonely, good company of book”, expresses his concerns for the pressures of reading ...view middle of the document...

If he read a book and did not understand it, he would avoid it.
Rodriguez was praised by his teachers for reading books and was given extra credit for books that were not assigned in class. These first concepts of reading stuck with Rodriguez throughout his entire life and caused him to question what he was supposed to gain from reading. By the time Rodriguez had started high school he had read hundreds of books but he admits he “was not a good reader” (Rodriguez 229) and “lacked point of view” (Rodriguez 229). Rodriguez realizes that reading is not the best way for him to learn, contradicting the ideas he had clung to since grade school. After deciding to read an entire list of books suggested by a famous professor, Rodriguez admits that “most of the books, of course, he barely understood.” (Rodriguez 230)
Rodriguez later claimed that he had to “convince himself that he had read”(Rodriguez 230) a book, when he had actually only skimmed over the words without absorbing the relevance or meaning of the text. Rodriguez frustration towards reading sprouts from this definition. If Rodriguez was to follow the education system's definition of reading he would be proud to say that he had read through the list of difficult books, and feel proud to cross each of them off his list. Instead he “solemnly crossed” (Rodriguez 230) the books because he knows that he did not understand the context of the book. If Rodriguez wasn’t reading for personal satisfaction, and was only doing it because that’s what he had been taught to do, then crossing the book off the list is a sign of him questioning the definition of reading.
I would not say that my life story exactly pertains to that of Richard Rodriguez but it does have similarities. Such as when I was a child I too read a lot of books, so much in fact, that my parents could not pry a book out of my hands without a feud. I had such an attachment...

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