"The secrets of the government are keeping you dumb," The End Has No End by The Strokes.
So I was thinking about writing a story tonight, but since it's going to be a longer than usual one and my eyelids are giving up on me, I'll write about reading. Yes, you are about to read about reading. Compelling stuff, I know.
So I have been trying to read consistently throughout the year and I am proud to say that I have read quite extensively, given my lack of reading in the past years. The latest book that I've read is Tuhan, Aku Kembali by Sham Kamikaze and Ainuddin Kamaruddin. It was given to me as a gift, and I finished it in a day. It was a very readable book, not very thick, contains the life story of Mr Sham Kamikaze thus far and how he ditched his earrings for a spot in the da'wah scene.
Right before reading that one, I read the novel Paper Towns by John Green. I won't spoil too much of the story for you, but I will tell you that the hero of the story, Q really gets absorbed into reading a long poem by a poet named Whitman. His understanding of the poem is key in developing his character and the way I see it, shows us how literature, when read carefully and thoughtfully, can not only help us in appreciating the piece of work, but also everything around us.
When we really think about what a piece of writing means, it can have a profound effect on us, and I believe that these effects are what one looks for in any piece of literature. A piece of writing can only be appreciated when we have a connection with its message or its beauty or its essence. And that piece of literature may live on inside the reader, breathing it life even after its demise from the bookshelves, because those effects in the heart of man will affect the way a person views the the things around him or her and alter, however significantly, their decisions in the future, having a real effect on the world.
And that, to me, is the power of literature. It doesn't have to be brilliant and written with bombastic words and too intricate wordplay. It just has to have that necessary message that it wants to carry and convey it effectively to have an effect in the real world.
I am who I am today mostly because of what I have read, either from books, subtitles, song lyrics, articles on the internet, tweets, etc. Imam Hassan al-Banna was quoted for saying something along the lines of "To know a person, look at what he reads". I have definitely misquoted him, but you get the idea, right?
What you read defines you. But what happens when you don't read? Well that's a discussion I'll have to pick up some other time (if ever). Until then,
May peace be upon you.
p/s - I'm on a mobile app called GoodReads. If you have a tablet or a smartphone, try installing it. It's like a Facebook for book-readers where you update what you're reading at the moment, what you have already read and what you intend to read in the future. You can check out your friends' updates and get ideas on what to read next. You can rate and review books too. Super fun stuff. Em, I should probably clarify that this is not a paid post. None of my posts are, for that matter. So yeah.