In a letter from Zhu Youqing to Lu San, it says:
Over the years, my mind has been scattered, and I forget what I have read. But if I were to store it in my mind, it would be like having delicious food in my cheeks that I can't bear to swallow. For me, books are just a taste.
What is the taste of reading?
Before the third grade of elementary school, I didn't read. Even if it was children's books or comics, I didn't want to look at them.
My father was worried when he saw that I only knew how to play. He told me stories about Confucius teaching his son. I understood, but I didn't take it seriously. But I was still afraid of him, so I could only take down "Three Hundred Tang Poems" from the bookshelf and shake my head to deal with it.
After a parent-teacher meeting in the third grade, my father brought home a box of books, including "Dear Sister" magazine, a series of books for primary and secondary school students, and some interesting storybooks. I probably found the joy of reading from those storybooks.
I have forgotten the content of the books, but I vaguely remember that they were about children's adventures and mysteries. There was a small card in the books that revealed hidden words when placed on the illustrations. I learned some life skills from those storybooks and happened to encounter suitable situations to show off in front of my friends. I even earned the title of "encyclopedia". Now, it's just a joke.
However, once children discover the joy of reading, it is easy for them to immerse themselves in it. So, I started reading one book after another from the series of books, and I don't know how much I gained from it, but I am no longer afraid of writing weekly journals and essays. Since elementary school, I have won several provincial and national awards in essay competitions.
Of course, reading books is not enough if one doesn't follow the right path. There was a time during summer vacation when I didn't finish my homework, and before the start of the new school year, I wanted to copy my classmate's homework. Of course, I wouldn't use the word "copy". How could a socialist model student copy homework? I said I wanted to "refer to it", "learn from it", and "expand my thinking". Sounds like Kong Yiji, right? When I grew up and learned the phrase "the more knowledge, the more reactionary," I always remembered that summer vacation homework.
I truly tasted the flavor of reading when I studied "A Collection of Poems by Xie Taifu on a Cold Snowy Day". After all, "salt sprinkled in the air" lacks imagination and is not as aesthetically pleasing and elegant as "willow catkins floating in the wind". Since then, the phrase "scholarly air" has been engraved in my mind. Even now, I believe that if a man wants to have a certain temperament, he must have a scholarly air.
What is the specific taste of reading? A quote from Zhang Dai's "Kuai Yuan Gu Dao" may be appropriate:
Tao Shiliang said, "In this world, there are many leisurely activities, such as visiting and sightseeing, drinking and playing chess, all of which require companions. Only reading requires only one person. You can spend a whole day, even a whole year. You can observe the world within the confines of your room, and meet ancient people over a thousand years. There is no greater joy in the world than this. Unfortunately, people do not know it."
I have forgotten how I developed the habit of reading, but I remember that I learned the habit of writing reading notes from the preface of Gu Yanwu's "Ri Zhi Lu".
When I was young, I read books and took notes whenever I gained something. If it didn't fit, I would revise it. If someone before me had already written about it, I would delete it. After more than thirty years, I compiled it into a book. Taking the words of Zixia, I named it "Ri Zhi Lu" to serve as evidence for future gentlemen.
At that time, I had great ambitions and wanted to write notes on the books I had read and leave a legacy for future generations. It turned out to be a joke. Although I no longer have the unrealistic fantasies of my youth, I have still benefited from reading notes, and it is the source of my exploration of knowledge management.
We start by learning concepts from books and then establish theories. We then exhaust these theories in practice, gradually gaining wisdom and developing intuition. The wisdom and intuition gained from practice are knowledge, and they can ultimately be connected to the reality of the universe. Therefore, the more we read, the more we realize our ignorance and insignificance, and the more we need to have tolerance and compassion.
In recent years, I have read fewer books. On one hand, the abundance of information on the internet has taken up the time for reading various articles. I have doubted whether I should read fewer articles and read more books. But later, I realized that articles are broad and diverse, while books are focused and profound. Reading articles daily is enough, and when I need to delve deeper, I will know what books to read.
On the other hand, I am not inclined to read more new books, but rather to repeatedly read old books. I use Yao Nai's farewell message to find theoretical support for myself.
Yao Ji begged to be allowed to return to his hometown to live out his days. When he was about to leave, Weng Tanxi, a scholar, came to beg for advice. Yao said, "Everyone wants to read books that have not been seen in the world, but I just want to read books that are commonly seen in the world." by Yi Zongkui's "New World Stories"