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Some Books Are to Be Tasted, Others – to Be Swallowed, and Some Few – to Be Chewed and Digested

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Mohnataya
Words 985
Pages 4
Ilya Zagarskikh Zagarskikh 1
Prof. Kuklina
Group A-51
22 October 2012

Some Books are to Be Tasted, Others – to Be Swallowed, and Some Few – to Be Chewed and Digested
As an introduction, I want to say that literature is born from the human need to tell stories, to tell stories about oneself or about others, to tell stories about the world to better understand our existence, the others and the universe we live in. All the stories, the myths, the fables and the novels are the result of this wish and this basic need: they help us to live and survive. The role of books mustn’t be underrated, because they are a tangible and a valuable record of our world, containing the stories of long gone civilizations and forgotten ancient languages. But books also help people to grow up, to learn new things, develop and increase the intelligence. So I believe, that reading books helps to develop our knowledge, improve certain communication abilities, moral values and develop extra-curriculum interest.
Books are said to be man's best friends. At times when we are sad, depressed or angry, when we read a book our mind seems to calm down. Books take us to a
Zagarskikh 2 world where we find ourselves relaxed, sometimes thrilled or even crying. We, students, have to read books to develop our knowledge of our past and knowledge for our future. Books teach us moral values for a happy and peaceful life. Books may develop extra-curricular interest apart from studies like music and dance. Books improve our communication abilities by teaching on how to talk and carry yourself in the society. It improves qualities such as honesty, kindness, Friendship, loyalty, bravery etc. amongst readers.
Books can also shape one’s character in life. If the hero or the heroine of the book tends to be good at heart or takes the path of violence, we tend to follow it no matter what. Thus, choosing a good book is important. But how can we distinguish good or bad books? To my mind, good books are those, which can teach a person good thing or show him a good example. But on the contrary, there are too many books which are doomed to fail, but suddenly they head the list of the bestsellers. “Reading anything off the bestseller list has long-been considered «for nerds»”. The quotation is from the on-line source Glass Cases: When Bad Books Happen to Good Writers. It was available on the 01 of June, 2012, the URL http://bigglasscases.blogspot.com/2012/06/when-bad-books-happen-to-good-writers.html. Big blockbuster novels are like big blockbuster movies – they have a high concept plot, not a whole lot of character development, and maybe some sexy times: «entertainment for the masses». In publishing world «good» means successful and «bad» means that it failed to find its audience.
Zagarskikh 3
Richard Ford once said, “It takes as much effort to produce a bad book as a good book” (!). What I want to say is that while studying at school and the University I have read many different books. Some of them are a complete waste of people’s time. They don’t teach them anything, they have a dull action or affair which lasts for several hundred pages. These are bad quality detective stories like Agatha Christy and some short stories of different authors. I didn’t like reading “War and Peace” or “Quietly Flows the Don”. But, some years ago I took an unremarkable book called “The Brave Soldier Schweik” which I’ve been reading every year and which became my favourite book ever. This satirical comedy published in 1923 shows all the absurdly Austrian military discipline which, indeed, takes place in Russian army even nowadays. To my mind this book should be not just included in the school program, but be really “chewed and digested”. George Orwell said: “During the last fifty years there has been a whole series of writers — some of them are still writing — whom it is quite impossible to call “good” by any strictly literary standard, but who are natural novelists and who seem to attain sincerity partly because they are not inhibited by good taste” (!).
Sophia A. McCleanen, Pennsylvania State University, almost in every class teaches a bad book: an awful, poorly written, sometimes racist and reactionary book. She does this to see if her students notice. “I taught a selection of stories by Isabel Allende in a course on Latin American women writers while teaching in Peru. The day I walked in to teach the students were all mumbling under the
Zagarskikh 4 breath, casting semi-hostile looks at me. They had hated it”. The quotation is from p.7 of the article Top 40 Bad Books (no author, published in American Book Review). She emphasizes that literature is not always good. Sometimes it’s really bad and we need to talk about why it is bad. And we need to have even some fun doing it. Without the recognition and railing about the bad book, there can be no real pleasure in the good one.
To conclude, I again want to stress the significant role of books in our lives. In addition, with the fast spread of the Internet and the creation of different electronic mass media such as Twitter, Livejournal and others, people should learn to pick out only helpful information and prevent the others from gaining false moral values and developing incorrect knowledge. In the end, all the consequences of the current are shifted to the future generations.

Zagarskikh 5 Works Cited
Amiran, E., “Top 40 Bad Books” American Book Review. 1999: 1-17
LaPolla S., “When Bad Books Happen to Good Writers” Glass cases. 01 June 2012. < http:// bigglasscases.blogspot.com/2012/06/when-bad-books-happen-to-good-writers.html>
Orwell G. “Good Bad Books”. Tribune, 1945.…...

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