The act of reading gives a broader look at all around, it opens your mind, takes you to new places, builds knowledge and understanding, creates a better you. For some Latino cultures, reading is difficult, boring, tedious, an old habit. Why? I don’t know.
I was raised in Caribbean Sea waves. And having a slit interest in reading would segregate you from society, to be considered a genius or some goddess from an other planet. It’s not a common thing, where 1 out of 5 Latin Americans live in chronic poverty situations, according to the World Bank publication “Los Olvidados“.
For those who turn pages, considered middle-middle, middle-upper and so on class, it’s the mechanism to defend yourself and peers from corruption, lack of justice, the violation of human rights, poverty itself.
In my case, I don’t really bother reading fiction or non-fiction books, mostly related to communication theories and journalistic stories. I read the news everyday, but I do recognize I’m as slow as a tortoise. So I’ve set myself a goal during the end of 2015 to read a book in 3 months (Yep! That’s how slow I use to read). And this is how far I’ve gone:
Edgar H. Schein, 2013. 125 pages.
This communications based self help book questions the reader a lot, and makes you do too because it criticizes the habit people have developed to be heard by others, to tell to others and to share about themselves without having the same interest for peers’ need to do the same.
With this short piece, the author explains which social aspects (like power, position, income, social roles, culture, biases) affect human relationships and how the need of telling drives us away from profound understanding of peoples situations for not asking questions. Not just asking, but having an unbiased conversation with humble mutual interest.
Umberto Eco, 2015. 218 pages.
The last fiction novel written by the master of semiotics reminds us journalist are human beings like any other, with bias and preferences, that could use their knowledge and privileged position to control society and its course, distort the books of history, portray a fact that doesn’t exist in the collective mind.
It remarks that, if journalist were to do great journalism, their work could guarantee the safety of civilians and human kind, and dangerous outcome that awaits for them as very few care for their sake.
THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO
Junot Díaz, 2007. 335 pages.
It’s not only a must read because BBC considered it the greatest novel on the 21st Century. It’s a master piece that exposes to the world -and to Dominicans themselves- what its like to be Dominican and why we are how we are, in all our ways of being.
The author evidences his intellect and broad knowledge-life experience throughout the fiction piece, as he sublimely explains those historical landmarks that build the Dominican social paradigm that prevails today, our culture and life experience as migrants in the US, all dedicated to a new reader, bilingual, looking for on answers.