Shin Yong-ho, the founder of Kyobo Book Centre, said, "Man makes a book, and a book makes a man." The means that a book can make a great person and the person writes a book that makes another great man. Reading is not only a hobby, but also a means of sustaining human development, so let's immerse ourselves in a world of reading that leads us to an infinite realm of possibilities.
Are You Reading Now?
“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” ― Joseph Brodsky
With this famous reading quote, how many books do CBNU students read? According to statistics of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the national amounts of reading for one year are 70.3 volumes for elementary school students, 19.4 volumes for middle school students, 8.9 volumes for high school students, and 9.1 volumes for adults. This amount is lower than the average amounts of the OECD. In other statistics of the Korea Education & Research Information Service, the amount of university students who never borrowed a book from the school library was 42.7%.
Then, why are students’ reading amounts so low? When they were elementary school students, educational authorities just gave them a little time and wanted students to get lessons from books in that short time. In middle school and high school, they spent most of their time for studying. They did not have time for other activities. Also, these days, they do not have any time for reading because of job seeking. With this life cycle, people do not get to know how to read.
Read, Just Like You NEVER Read
“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.” ― Gustave Flaubert
According to “Moderation” by Jeong Yak-yong, a philosopher of the Joseon Dynasty, readers must follow five ways for effective reading. The first way of reading is learning various things or broad knowledge. The second way is interrogation. Interrogation means that when you read, you need to ask in detail. The third way is considerate thinking. The fourth way is distinguishing the contents of book clearly. The last one is trying to practice the lessons the book gives with a true mind.
As we previously stated the Asian ways to read a book well, there are also Western characteristics related to reading books. Many celebrities are bookworms, and one of the most famous bookworms is Warren Buffet, who is chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. Warren Buffett has a success story for his life. Some might think he had the success because he was just lucky. However, he always endeavored to further his investment. He read lots of books so he could know about the investment market well.
Warren Buffett has five habits about books. First, you should build your reading purpose. If you decide what to do through reading, you could realize the needs of reading and wake your passion. Second, you should grow your own skill through books. A book is an important educational tool, and this tool would improve your own skills. In your hard times, knowledge from books would be a good tool to escape from hardship, so if you read books sincerely, you could get out of your hardship as fast as possible. Third, raise your level of books. Easy books will be easy to read. However, in order to get a higher level of reading ability, it is necessary to challenge yourself to difficult books boldly. Fourth, try hard all the time when you read. Reading is not an easy thing. However, if you read your best, it will be an asset to your life. Last, always aim for the best. Do not regulate your limitation or aim for a low target. Then you can get better results!
What Can We Get from a Book?
“When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind.” ― Michel De Montaigne
There are many people stressed by reading because of their experiences such as early learning or essay writing for tests. However, the act of reading reduces our stress. In fact, it was proven through experiments that after six minutes of reading, stress was reduced by as much as 68%, heart rate was lowered, and muscle tension was relaxed. Surprisingly, our favorite game reduced stress by 21%, but the heart rate increased. As you can see, the stress of the workplace and human relationships flies in a flash through reading books.
Another advantage of reading is improving concentration. Now that smartphones dominate our daily lives, we are not focusing on one thing. My ears are listening to music and my eyes are seeing newspaper articles and SNS coming from friends at the same time. Even though this multitasking ability has brought us a lot of benefits, there are more and more people who cannot focus on one thing patiently. When you read a book, the habit of reading improves your concentration, so read a book for about 20 minutes in the morning. You will notice better concentration than before.
The CBNU Globe Reporters’ Choice
1) Imagination Dictionary
Bernard Werber‘s Imagination Dictionary is not as famous as books such as God, Paradise which are already well-known in Korea. This book is not a simple story-type novel. In this book, the author described his thoughts on an object and any idea from his childhood without any particular classification. Everything in daily life is easy to pass without thought. However, he did not miss these trivial moments. To me, it felt so refreshing. Like this book, creativity and imagination are not distant, but close by. I recommend this book to everyone who is currently looking for creative ideas. (Jin Seung-yeon, Editor)
2) The Lexus and the Olive Tree
The Lexus And the Olive Tree is an economic globalization book written by Thomas L. Friedman. This book is describes the process after the cold war globalization through an investor’s view. Globalization makes the world become much faster, causing much harsher competition and liberalization of national policy. This book can be a little thicker than you expected, but it is totally worthwhile to read. If you want to know how modern the economic system was built, this book is the perfect book to start. (Bang do-won, Reporter)
3) Kiss of the Spider WomanReaders have their own big black hole which they call a book. When I first encountered this book, I realized I could not get out of my black hole named Kiss of The Spider Woman. “I love you so much. That's the one thing I never said to you, because I was afraid of losing you forever.” When I memorized the last sentences, I decided to study Spanish as major. The writer of the book, Manuel Puig, is one of the famous authors in Latin America and tried to make harmony between pure and popular literature for modern literature. I used to think one-way love could not be a good thing, but with Molina, I changed my mind. He could not make his love become reality, but in my paradise, he is always with his love. (Yu Da-yeon, Reporter)
2017 Korean Reading Festival in Jeonju
The 2017 Korea Reading Festival in Jeonju was held by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Jeonju city, and the Korea Publishers Industry Promotion Agency from September 1st to September 3rd in Jeonju Hanok Village. This event was the largest book event in Korea. More than 100 families participated in this event. The slogan of this event was “loving power, questioning ability” due to the purpose of publisher and reader rediscovering the value of books. This festival had a lot of opinion exchange events between writer and readers such as coloring picture books, writer lectures, writer autograph meetings, autumn “little book” concerts and many other things.
Reading at CBNU
1) CBNU Culture Reading Goldenbell for 70th Anniversary Celebration
The CBNU Culture Reading Goldenbell was held by Keunsaram Educational Development Institute (KEDI) for celebrating the CBNU 70th Anniversary. This event theme was getting away from simple reading and moving into improving integrative and creative thinking. The participants wrote an application and read eight books that KEDI had chosen. They had a preliminary contest on September 20th, 22nd, and 25th with four books, which were The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Korean Myth Story, Earth is Now Covered in Poison Gas and Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? On October 12th, they had the final round with another four books, which were Economics for Bread, Guns, Germs, and Steel, Sozialgeschichte der Kunst und Literatur and Hidden History of Science as a Picture.
2) Buk-juk Buk-juk Program & Reading Discussion Workshop
The Buk-juk Buk-juk program is a reading and debate program. You can participate freely in the Buk-juk Buk-juk program if you are a CBNU student, except for those who are seniors. Each team consists of four to six students selected by judges. Then, the selected teams start an activity like reading and discussion, receiving a certain amount money. It runs for eight weeks. During the Buk-juk Buk-juk program, if you want to learn more about debate, you can participate in the Reading Discussion Workshop. The Reading Discussion Workshop is a program hosted by KEDI for Buk-juk Buk-juk program members in order to teach detailed discussion skills. You can apply on the KEDI homepage to participate in this. It takes place in KEDI Unit 209 throughout six weeks.
There is a saying, “The slow way is a fast way.” Reading does not give us the right answer, but it gives us the ability to think about an answer. You do not have to rush to read. As mentioned earlier, it is better to read slowly, thinking about the purpose of reading and the lesson you can get from the book. This fall, why not try reading a book at the library, engraving the true purpose of the book on your mind?