Are you that kind of type who reads only for escaping from your habitual life?
you never try to understand the secret which is hiding inside a story because you are too focused to the plot of the story?
you just guessing what the author means by the way you read the story without “seeing” what author tries to explain by inserting the things like color, clothes, or metaphors in the story?
If it is a yes, you are not alone.
I am one of that reader too who read only for escaping myself from my routine life. I never tried to find any “secret things” which the author puts in the novel. I judged a novel whether it was good or not by my impression to the novel and the end of the story. Yes, I should confess that I like a “happy ending” and a “forever after” endings in the end of a story.
However, I must change my thought about “how I read a novel”, “what the purpose of reading a novel”, and “what I expect of a story” after I entered college. I have found many stories which are very different from my type of a story must be composed of before. There is nothing a “happy ending” in every story which I have read since I entered college. Most of them have a “not happy nor sad ending.” Moreover, I must find all the “secret things” which the author puts in the novel, such as what color mostly appears in the story. After that, I have to find the meaning of that color, connect it with the story, and make a conclusion based on what I have found. Complicated? Confusing? I should admit it that it is complicated and confusing. In fact, I am still confused about that. I cannot always apply it every time I read a novel.
It is hard, but it is the consequences of being an English Department. Yeah, I chose English as my major in the college. At first, it was very hard for me to find all the secrets which the author tried to describe the story through them; now I used to it (though it is still hard for me to find the meaning and try to connect it with the story). However, I found that “finding the secrets and describing the meanings” are very helpful for me to understand the story which author tries to tell the reader. It is still guessing actually, but at least it is closer to the “actual” meaning than trying to guess it by reading only.
“Seeing” is the name which my lecturers said about understanding the story. We should be one of the character who see whole events though we do not get involved. “By seeing a story will make you come to a conclusion of understanding what author means,” said one of my lecturer.
I have told you that it is not easy because we should mark many words or sentences which we think that it is related to what author means. We should open our dictionary, books, and internet to find the meaning which makes us tired. Nonetheless, it will add our knowledge whether we realize it or not. Marking, searching, connecting, and describing will make our logic part of our brain improving. It also makes us realize that the real world does not always as beautiful as we found in the fairy tale stories because the real world does not always have a “happy” and “forever after” endings, but also sad and uncleared endings. Moreover, it maybe has no ending. We will be more critical to face our life and even someone’s story.
I am not telling you to be a “conscious reader”, but it will be better if we try to see every symbols which lay in a story. Reading for escaping is good to release our stress; reading with seeing is good for not only releasing our stress but also for practicing our brain to analyze any symbols which we never know before. I admit that I am still an amateur and sometime cannot apply it properly; nevertheless, I try to do it every time I read a novel and I have become a little bit critical ever since. I also still do “escaping reading” sometime, but I try to change it slowly. It is not only for my college but also for my own good, so I can see this world as it is supposed to see (that this world is not forever good to you) because the truth is not always be what we expect to be.