I hated English and my mother tongue class in school.
I hated reading the mandatory books and writing reports.
The problem was three fold:
- First, I was too young and ignorant to understand the magnitude, meaning and importance of books such as Crime and Punishment, Eugene Onegin, Antigone, The Sorrows of Young Werther, The Metamorphosis…
- Second, sadly, not all of my teachers were able to make classical literature seem interesting.
Though it must be said that I lucked out with one of my mother tongue class lecturers for he was a middle aged man with a darker, Mediterranean olive like skin tone and curly hair who injected humor into the tragedies he made us read.
He showed and proved how the contents from tomes long ago contained timeless wisdom which was/is/forever will be relevant to the lives of humankind.
Without him I’d never appreciate the works of the authors from our little country and become the Man who I am today.
- Third, book reports suck the fun out of reading because the educators almost always expected you to find the meaning within the passages that was most commonly accepted and not how you interpreted it.
I know they must do so due to the volumes of essays they have to read and the curriculum they have to follow but it does dampen your enthusiasm to try to understand what you read when you are repeatedly told that it was wrong how you understood it.
Thus my situation is funny. I am currently enthusiastically researching on how to write adequate book reports, or more appropriate, book reviews which I loathed in the past.
Why? I have a reason to and a good one at that.
Educators nowadays are lamenting that we are dealing with an Age within which information overflow has become a serious problem as it impedes the student’s ability to learn when they are bombarded with data from books, television, computers and smart phones.
Information overflow IS a serious problem, but have they forgotten their roles? They are the ones who should act as filters, gatekeepers and present to those who learn only the materials which are most RELEVANT AND BEST according to their needs.
Yet many do not do that.
It is easier to throw books at people and tell them to read them all for ALL of them are MOST important to the class.
Or so they say.
Better to read one GOOD book about a subject and suck the marrow out of it wholly than to frantically try to read 3 – 4 sloppily within an inadequate amount of time and try to stitch together a coherent entity.
This is my reason why I’ve decided to write book reviews.
And it’s a good one at that.
I am a voracious reader.
Not a day goes by without me reading books and articles from which I (try to) extract their essence.
But, I’ve become a selective voracious reader.
Out of necessity really, because if my goal were to read everything I could as well close down my site and go check myself into an asylum for the insane.
Let’s not get started with the amount of journalism articles that get churned out on an hourly basis due to the need of 24 hour news cycle coverage.
What’s a Man/Woman to do?
He/She creates a System in which the wheat is separated from the chaff.
I’ve got mine and I hope to become yours.
We live in the most wonderful age of humankind where the internet has become the Great Library of Alexandria and is fireproof (mostly) to boot!
Think about it! The collective knowledge of humankind (most) both past and present is available to you, right at your fingertips!
Everything you need to know in order to live a healthy, happy, content and fulfilling life is only clicks away!
Yet people do not admire or are awed by this fact.
Let alone make use of it.
This has become the greatest tragedy of Humankind.
The greatest sin you can make against yourself, as per the great Tony Robbins, is to know what you have to do but not do what you know!
‘You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.’ – Tony Robbins
Or so I’ve thought.
I took me a long time to realize that just because the knowledge is available it does not mean that it is accessible.
Knowledge, true knowledge is buried deep within this library we call the Internet.
The Internet is the biggest library in the World and if you do not know where to look or for what you can easily get lost or end at shelves filled with depravity so horrific that one could make a good argument to close this Library down altogether, forever.
But – it may be more apt to say that the Internet is the only Living Library. It’s an organism constantly evolving producing miracles and excrement at the same time.
This is where I come in – I’ll be your guide and steer you towards the miracles I’ve witnessed and wish for you to see them too and away from the excrements I myself have fallen into.
Honestly though, the times I’ve fallen into shit did create more funny stories.
But that is a tale for another day.
My book reviews will differ from others insomuch that I will only ever give positive reviews.
‘Huh’, you may wonder and ‘Why?’ you may add.
Again, I’ve become a selective voracious reader.
The Universe may be endless.
Time may be Infinite.
But I live in a limited space with a finite amount of time.
Said in another manner – I do not have time to read bullshit.
Neither do you.
I will only publish book reviews from works for which I can personally testify that they’ve helped me.
Thus my book reviews will always have a positive verdict with an added explanation on how they have aided me and can benefit you.
Theodore Locke’s Book Reviews Template
|Number of pages:|
|Time needed to read:|
What the book is about and its purpose.
How the book helped me.
(Optional) Section Three
A link to a PDF document containing notes from the book which I took and hope that they will also assist you.
Honestly, I am scared of writing book reviews.
I am scared that my writing will be rubbish.
I am scared that nothing of what I will write will be of use to you.
I am scared of you tearing me apart and giving me new assholes to boot.
I am scared of you rejecting me.
But that’s okay because I’ve learned from a beautiful publication and myriad of posts to give you permission to reject me, because only through rejection will I be able to steel my will and push on forward.
You can only learn to push forward when there is a force trying to push you back.
You can only learn on how to get back up when something hits you so hard that you make out with the dust on the ground.
Here I am getting into the ring prepared to get my skull caved in.
And if I can help someone somehow on this arduous path we call Life then I’ll consider the broken noses, lost teeth and blood spilled well spent.