Reading is of pinnacle importance in our society according to so many people, and our schools try to teach, test and evaluate literacy more than almost anything else. Yet with all this focus on the ability to read and write, something can often be lost: the magic of the written…
He does not necessarily write this essay simply to drum into its reader the importance of reading, which has been done many times and in many different ways, but to explore how reading shaped and morphed his life, and use this exploration to examine how people go about reading and what reading can be more generally, and hopefully, to have the reader examine their relationship to reading.
“The Lonely, Good Company of Books” takes on almost a narrative format, outlining the different stages of his life in terms of what readings he did and how he interpreted readings. He starts by talking about his upbringing, about how his parents interacted with their reading and how that affected him. He said that his parents read nothing more substantive than a recipe or a pamphlet, and believed that reading should be kept to a bare minimum, only extract the important information you need and then stop (Rodriguez). He then moves on to explain the next step in his relationship with reading, and the influences on it. One of the major influences with reading was his mother, as mentioned before. When Rodriguez wanted to be a writer, his mother advised him not to, saying that it would be a foolish financial decision (Rodriguez). But there were counterinfluences going against the influence his parents put on him, like an Old Nun who encouraged him to read, telling him that through reading he could access new characters and experiences that he never would have been able to imagine or live himself.
This narrative framework, talking about his relationship with reading from a young age as well as the influences who affected his relationship with reading, helps force anyone who reads “The Lonely, Good Company of Books” to examine the own parallel happenings in their life. Everyone conceives of their own life in a narrative form, understanding how they ...
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