“He was a creature whom ‘Smart’ does not even slightly describe…”
There are some specimens of humanity in whose presence one instantly and instinctively feels a profound admiration, an admiration which – perhaps because it is profound – cannot be ignored. And C., moving in the society of rich and intelligent, is the one to arrest attention with his decidedly interesting appearance and tremendously keen-eyed expression.
C. is extraordinarily unhandsome if not positively ugly. This lion-looking personage with his big rather hard face, that trembles within itself when under emotion (and this state is very common with C.) makes one constantly think that he will throw a fit at one’s feet. But the cult of Sun never worshipped a kinder and more luxurious smile. His perfect teeth, when he smiles, remind you of a courageous animal. His immensely broad shoulders compel respect.
When C. is lighting a cigarette in an unhurried manner as he does everything, you forget about the rush of time and speed of life. Slowly, as if in all universe nothing whatever save this person exists – you listen to his particularly contented voice.
Reading something approximating a great book will leave you with something approximating a great experience. Very true, a story will lend you a life of a different person. An alert kind of mind will observe and penetrate and know – a bit there, somehow here, and chiefly everywhere. You may even feel a bit exhausted at the end, as if your body went through the exercise along with your mind.
Reading makes our brain omnipotent. By processing written material, we encourage our brain to work harder and better. Many life lessons hide between the pages and, what is so wonderful, you have the control over a unique pause button for comprehension and enjoyment. You can press pause and reread the extract you’ve enjoyed so much. You put the chosen book down and feel the benefits of reading for some time even after that. Almost like after a visit to a gym, when our muscles still remember the strenuous stretch and weight, our brain expresses a shadow activity at a specific region that was stimulated.
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1) Dumbbells That are Lifted by Our Brain
C. has an ability to individually intoxicate every person with his great bright voice, hoarse and rich, sudden and intensely accurate. Saying things enlightening and captivating, he can describe any event from his life and the life of the world around fully and without hyperbole and still catch unmitigated attention of everybody around.
My notebooks, one in particular, are covered with expressions of his wisdom. I’m the witness of his ineffable teaching – How to Eliminate Our Troubles (which are common property to all of us) by Growing Hunger to Reading.
Dumbbells are lifted by our brain each time we devote a moment to a good book. Reading is not just fun, it is beneficial for our mental health. Our life is a series of real and imagined tribulations of our mind and body. And the ones we invent in our brain are just as important for our well-being because they keep our minds in shape. I daresay that reading stimulates our analytical abilities, heighten our focus and concentration, and overall sharpen our brain.
With a quality read as your daily companion you would never be at a loss, in whatever circumstances you might find yourself, a suitable word, expression, sentence, point of view will present itself on time.
A man is capable of extricating himself from the confusion of life with the help of a book. Reading decreases stress. You transport yourself into a different situation and positively affect your daily life with uplifting literature.
2) Crossing the Threshold of a New Book and Energizing the Brain
C’s disagreeably big eyes are absorbing various literary works on peculiarly inspiring topics, subjects on physical activity (different sports-related books), matters of personal development (biographies of great people and scientific works on self-improvement), discussions about value of music and arts in our lives, and world-known masterpieces in the genre of novels.
Anybody can find him worthy of helping to carry forward the banner of brain development and overall enlightenment. C’s research on relationship between reading and stimulation of particular regions of the brain creates a base for the emerging field of literary neuroscience.
Many years prior to the days of our acquaintance, though, C. was considered a dyslexic child. He had trouble matching the letters, struggled to read fluently and spell words correctly. He had the intelligence to be the best reader in his age group but, paradoxically, was the slowest in his class. That condition was purely medieval torture for C.
When crossing the threshold of a new book you should think what benefit you are expecting to obtain from it. A brilliant conversation in a high-quality language will leave you in a state of complete wonderment at the richness of words and expressions. This experience will lend you conversational idioms to use, sentences to impress, and even jokes to amuse.
You may discover a new way to support a dialog on the classical symphony of some composer that you haven’t even heard but read about. Because at the moment of reading you’ve been stimulating the regions of the brain responsible for the musical associations. The same happens with every literary choice you make. Pleasure reading or close reading – making a choice in a library, you pick, quite literally, a kind of cognitive brain training, a way to use new brain regions, and it is in your power to make a decision where to put your focus at.
3) Diminishing Tremendous Confusion by Remedial Reading
Being a creative thinker with strong reasoning abilities C. put a certain dangerous effort into mastering the art of reading. He was long past the school-age when he finally could claim a label ‘normal’ for himself. His book on remedial reading was a bestseller for many consecutive years. The journey to that day of success and overall acceptance was tremendously laborious.
C. was hard, immeasurably hard on research, finding the best ways to rewire his brain. He tried all kinds of remedial reading programs that could help him to become a better reader. Every single day C. was working on changing the way how his brain was processing information. He was able to design a program and prove scientifically that it worked. C. made Dyslexia (“word blindness” – how it is called sometimes) not an insurmountable obstacle in a process of education, but a problem to be solved – an opportunity to express personal motivation – a trigger to combat an enemy and win the battle on the arena of education.
Dyslexic people are visual and multi-dimensional thinkers. They excel in hands-on learning and are highly creative. And although every person with this condition is different there is a way to entertain everyone with an individual approach.
Behind our eyes lives a world of undiscovered. And to start a journey of self-digging and improvement is never late. There are special techniques, new emerging programs, even specifically created fonts to help us become better readers.
Reading every day not only makes our feet travel in countries not easily imagined, but also explore the grounds of our personal abilities.
4) The Value of Close Reading Produced by Good Writers and Thinkers
Today C. is considered absolutely and fearlessly the best in the art of brain improvement by means of developing strategic reading habits. He lectures throughout the country on thematic reading. He loves to suddenly dash upon the audience with breakthrough information, discovering new ways to improve memory, reduce stress, decrease depression, enhance imagination, improve sleep and many more – all with the help of books, chosen smartly and intentionally.
You can improve your memory, strengthen your writing abilities, develop imagination and even boost your sleep with the help of a good book. But can you accept all literary works without distinction? The stupid, the wily, the vain, the cautious, the desperate, the hopeless – a wrong choice can put you at an angle of insanity.
You should be very clever when placing a book at your bedside. The value of studying literature produced by good writers and thinkers is fascinating. When working with great workout tools our body responds more quickly and easily to the exercise, the same happens with our brain when we chose a quality book to read.
5) Methods of Keeping Our Brain Active
C., upon being sentenced by narrow-minded people to never master his own language, learned to speak French to a ‘T’ and Spanish to a ‘Z’. And although any foreign tongue has a coarse richness in his interpretation, exactly this fact makes every word memorable and every sentence quoted.
C. considers dyslexia not a coarse but a blessing in his life. It makes him work two-three times harder, invent new brain-sharpening exercises almost every day. This effort is fruitful, beneficial to many people throughout the world. His books on memory exercises are translated into more than twenty languages and help children to alter their brains, teach them not only to read but, which is more important, to live fully and happily despite their condition.
You feel your mind cuddled by pleasant reading and a bit tired by a close intellectual exercise with a humanities-oriented text. But the methods of keeping our brain active can make a big difference to our memory.
Scientists work extensively developing new ways to train our brain. There are numerous books on simple math problems and short brain-training sessions with puzzles. By challenging ourselves we strengthen the connections between brain cells. Devoting our time to learning something new and complex like a foreign language can protect our brain from aging.
Intensely intelligent, certainly sensitive, C. delivers a series of sure ways of life improvement. His message penetrates the fabric of prejudice. One after another he is dealing with doubts and fears of people who struggle to be ‘normal’, to be accepted and respected.
C. teaches us to develop a positive self-image, expand our minds, improve imagination, and many other things – and all with the help of reading. Because this activity, above all things, makes life worth leaving, worth exploring and worth sharing. We can gift the knowledge we possess in many ways to the ones we love, writing it down, though, was and is the best way to preserve and transfer it.
In concluding my story about C’s great investment in the web of education and self-developing reading, I must in justice to my subject, mention the main ideas that all his works reveal in one way or the other. C. proclaims three major virtues in his works: they are (1) beauty, as regards people and their histories in a skillfully depicted story; (2) wisdom, as regards knowledge shared on a printed page; and (3) work, as regards a never-ending self-improvement process with the help of intentionally chosen books.
I am confronted by perfect literary works. And I like this feeling of puzzlement and apotheosis. To be a victim of a great book is an honor and I wish to get into such captivity often and do so at my leisure. Anybody can enjoy that pleasure almost any time (when freed from other everyday obligations).
My mania for the world of reading is my salvation. I love the state of focus and concentration it gifts me with. I drink the book with ever-renewed vigor, thanking heavens for the benefit to my memory and self-discipline, improved self-esteem, and overall mental health.
There is about the whole process of reading something irretrievably and positively self-imaginary. It punctuates our lives with new ideas and educates us on new areas of life. By mastering a new field of study we heighten our opinion of ourselves and our capabilities. Reading manifests refinement to our brain and enjoyment to our emotions.