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My Life as a Reader and a Writer

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“Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but most important, it finds homes for us everywhere. ” (Quindlen) This fascinating quote by Anna Quindlen, speaks to me so much. I started reading when I moved to the United States. I was 15 years old with no English knowledge. I didn’t speak English and of course didn’t write in English. It was the summer before my freshman year. I spent that summer reading English books, practicing to write in English and watching learning videos. Reading and writing shaped me into the women I am today. Books were my only friends and papers were the only way I could vent for a really long time. Many authors had motivated me to read and write, such as Anna Quindlen, George Orwell and Lera Boroditsky. I am who I am today because I found the magic of reading and writing.

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I believe in order to be a good writer, you must be a good reader. The more I read the more I want to write. I remember my very first morning in the United States; I asked one of my family members to take me to the library to pick up few books. That was my very first time walking into a library. Jordan is a fairly poor country. We didn’t have libraries in schools and there weren’t that many libraries outside of school. Most people didn’t have access to them. The easier reading and writing had gotten for me, the more I wanted to read and write. Having to move to a new country and learn a new language from the beginning had helped me fall in love with reading and writing.

Reading is one of the most beneficial activities any person can do. Reading refreshes the inner soul and improves our imagination. It makes the reader travel through time to different places without moving. For me, reading feels like a journey that starts when I open the first page and ends at the last page. I believe reading variety of books helps readers uncover new styles and genres of writing. It helps readers discover new ways of writing that may be better than what they already know or could simply improve their writing skills. To be a good writer, you must be a good reader. For myself, three successful writers are Anna Quindlen, George Orwell and Lera Boroditsky. While reading Anna Quindlen’s “How Reading Changed my Life”, I was blown away by the fascinating way Quindlen wrote her biographical narrative on her love for reading since she was a child. Quindlen took us down her memory lane telling us why she enjoyed reading. To summarize, she states, “Reading has always been my home, my sustenance, my great invincible companion. I did not read from a sense of superiority, or advancement, or even learning. I read because I loved it more than any other activity on earth. ” (Quindlen). She also gives examples of great books she had read throughout her life and why she loved book. She says, “Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home. ” (Quindlen). One of the most recent texts I have read is the great short essay, “Why I Write,” by George Orwell. In this essay, Orwell explains the motives behind any writer. He stated that he knew he wanted to be a writer from a very early age, but he tried to get rid of this idea multiple times; he says “I tried to abandon this idea but I did so with the consciousness that I was outraging my true nature and that sooner or later I would have settle down and write books” (Orwell). So even with all of the events that happened in his life where he was forced to give up on writing, he knew his inner self wouldn’t be complete until he becomes a writer. I have recently watched the great TED talk “How Language Shapes the Way we Think”, by the scientist and author Lera Boroditsky. In this talk, Brodotisky says that there are more than 7000 languages spoken around the world and each language has different vocabularies, sounds and structures, then Boroditsky claims that the language we speak shapes the way we think. She supports her claim by scientific researches that she has done on her own. For an example, she says, “In English, it’s fine to say, “He broke the vase. ” In a language like Spanish, you might be more likely to say, “The vase broke,” or, “The vase broke itself. ” If it’s an accident, you wouldn’t say that someone did it”. I was amazed by the way her speech was organized and how powerful her tone was with connecting with her audience.

Reading and writing go hand in hand. One of my favorite quotes is by Stephen King, “if you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others; read a lot and write a lot. ”. Therefore, I have gained so much from Anna Quindlen, George Orwell and Lera Boroditsky. From reading Quindlen’s work, I was amused by her unique writing style by creating strong common ground build within the text. Quindlen was able to catch the attention of different types of readers from different ages. Quindlen taught me that writing doesn’t have to be so hard and that “less is more” is a good approach when it comes to writing. While reading ‘Why I Write,” by George Orwell, I was drawn to his mastery plain and simple style that lacks any narrative techniques or stylistic device. His style and formal tone made me want to keep reading his essay. His amazing way of listing his points making sure that his readers are clear is something I would want to use in my writing. The thing I loved the most about Boroditsky’s speech is the way she organized it. She had a great opening, used powerful and strong evidence to support her claim and ended her speech with asking her audience questions. Her organization to her speech is something I want to work on. I strongly believe that good writing must be organized well. These authors have helped me discover new ways to improve my writing skills.

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