The Power of Reading and Writing

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One of the milestones we achieve during our early years of learning is reading and writing. From the simple alphabets to complex words, sentences, paragraphs to complete stories and articles. These are the fundamental of formal education systems. Through reading and we develop concepts, ideas and learn to express them through writing. The power that comes along with passing emotional, sensible, credible and moving information cannot be underestimated. In their articles “Reading to Write” and “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” Stephen King and Sherman Alexie describe the concept of reading is similar strokes: Reading widely and thoroughly is the key to unlocking one’s destiny.

In the article “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” Sherman Alexie describes his life events and the challenges he overcame through his ability to read and write. He describes his background as “poor by most standards” and “middle class by reservation standards” (Alexie, 15). However, his father’s habit of reading affected him positively as he could collect some of the books brought home, and try reading them. At three years, he had already developed an appetite for books and even though he could not fathom the meaning of the words, he was learning. As the article shows, Alexie learned and understood the unconventional meaning of “a paragraph” (Alexie, 16).

Coming from a poor background stereotyped for being education failures (Alexie, 17), Alexie’s history formed a solid background to conquer the stereotype eventually. Through observation of the Superman comic, he was forming words and sentences in imagination. And just as Batman “[he]… was breaking down the door” of education. As he learned to read at an early age, he was oozing with confidence. He read more every day, everywhere. Finally, in adulthood, he is a writer and empowers kids. He visits Indian schools to combat the mentality that they are not cut for education. Just as books changed his destiny, he works hard to ensure that the kids get to read, and to write or as he says, “[he] trying to save lives (Alexie, 18)”

In support Stephen King’s article “Reading to Write” demonstrates that a journey to destination-writer starts with two things: Reading a lot and writing a lot. King says that “every book you pick up has its lessons, and bad books have more to teach than the good ones (King, 221).” Though reading widely, King, by eight grade had encountered authors such as Murray Leinster and understood how horrible their writing was. Such books according to King motivates any writer to do better by discerning, “I can do better than this, Hell, I am doing better than this” (King, 222). Great readings such as the novel “The Grape of Wrath” challenges any future writer to feel motivated to write with such grace. The experiences one gets while reading helps people recognize and appreciate the good things, and helps them steer off the bad ones. Writers, for example, adopt the exceptional styles they mimic from great readings (King, 223).

Just as Alexie pointed out, reading empowers people. As a writer, King demonstrates the need to read and read widely. To pick a book whenever you go and to be less concerned with the stereotypic society. If your destiny is to be a writer, King’s advice is that “rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns (King, 223). Moreover, thorough and constant reading is the key to success. Furthermore, reading is the mental practice that needs to be constantly done so as to develop the mental muscles required to be a great writer. Moreover, “reading created an ease and intimacy with the process of writing,” offers one great knowledge and shapes one into a great writer.

Both Alexie and King emphasize the need to read constantly to unlock one’s potential and destiny. For Alexie, through reading, he was able to cope with his environment and to conquer the stereotypic tag of “Indians being uneducated.” His love for books gave him confidence and power to be the best he could be in school, and in future. He read widely, he read regularly. Turning out into a writer, Alexie still fights on to ensure that the Indian kids in school understand the power that comes along with education. Similarly, King asserts that reading is the highway to being an exceptional writer. According to him, a writer needs to be prepared to read so as to learn, no matter how bad or how good any reading is. Reading is like exercise for a writer and to be levels above the rest, books should and need to be in a writer’s life.

In conclusion, both authors demonstrate that reading can shape a person and can shape anyone’s destiny. That is, through constant reading, comes empowerment. It develops your skills to read, as it did to Alexie and is the mojo for excellent writing as King concludes. Therefore, a great future starts with the will to read, and to be disciplined enough to read daily.

Works Cited

Alexie, Sherman. “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. By Samuel S. Cohen. 4th ed. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014, pp. 15-18

King, Stephen “Reading to Write” 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. By Samuel S. Cohen. 4th ed. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014, pp. 221-225

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