Bai Long, a seasoned editor, believes the history of reading reflects the journey of our spirit and lives. While reviewing student articles, Bai was struck by the diverse perceptions of reading. He drew parallels between reading and the experience of walking through a forest – better undertaken with companions. Quoting ancient thinker Gu Yanwu, he highlighted the value of collaborative learning. To promote reading among the youth, Bai introduced the “My Reading Life” essay contest, which aligns with the ideals of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
Nie Zhenning, at the helm of the Taofen Foundation, values the influential role of prominent media in shaping young minds. The foundation has long championed the cause of nationwide reading, focusing particularly on honing student reading skills. Nie’s unique reading approach can be summed up in three techniques: engaging the mind, actively using one’s hand, and reading aloud.
Anthony Coles, principal of Dulwich College Beijing, sees immense potential in platforms that amplify the voices of young people. He believes in fostering an environment that promotes knowledge sharing. He expressed gratitude to guest speakers, student leaders, and parent volunteers for their invaluable contributions to educational initiatives.
Robert Walker, a scholar with affiliations to Oxford and Beijing Normal University, emphasizes the need to approach literature with skepticism. The last novel he delved into was “Germinal” by Émile Zola, which offers a poignant commentary on capitalist exploitation. Walker’s reading strategy is discerning: he gauges the worth of a book from its title and peruses the opening and closing paragraphs to understand its core message.
Actress Tan Zhuo feels that reading helps refine our understanding of life. Through novels like “Gabai Granny” and “Stoner”, she has come to appreciate the nuances of human existence and relationships. Tan also cherishes philosophical writings like Friedrich von Schiller’s “On the Aesthetic Education of Man”, as they offer deep insights into human nature.
Ning Jingwu, a director and scriptwriter, sees a symbiotic relationship between reading and traveling. His travels to historic places like Qiuci in Northwest China have been influenced by literary works that elucidate the region’s rich history and culture. For Ning, reading is not just about words on a page; it extends to art, like the Kizil Grotto murals, and historical figures, such as the monk Kumarajiva.
Li Wenru reminisces about his time running the Yuwen Newspaper, which also organized essay contests to promote reading. While technology has evolved, the essence of reading remains unchanged. Li champions the belief that reading shapes life and life’s experiences stem from reading.
Sun Yi, fondly known as “Sister Xiaoyu”, is influenced by authors like Gao Shiqi and Bing Xin. These writers shaped her academic and professional choices, reinforcing her belief that through reading, one can embrace diverse perspectives.
Students like Chen Yanle and Zhou Kanhe shared their personal reading experiences. While Chen advocates for preserving traditional literary spirits, Zhou champions individuality in reading preferences.
The unanimous consensus is clear: reading is a universal language that bridges gaps, shapes personalities, and offers a window to the world.