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双语阅读练习:我们为什么要阅读?

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2013年04月28日 【我要咨询】 】 来源:清华在线

  2013年4月23日是第18个世界读书日(全称世界图书与版权日World Book and Copyright Day)。1995年,联合国教科文组织宣布4月23日为“世界读书日”,以鼓励人们阅读,以及纪念那些为促进人类社会和文化进步做出巨大贡献的人。你平时是个爱读书的人吗?我们为什么要阅读?

  It doesn't matter if books are delivered in print or by smartphone, the main thing is to get lost in reading them. Reading books is vital for human development.

  看纸质书还是电子书并不重要,重要的是沉迷于阅读中的那种感觉。读书对人类的发展非常重要。

  Why should we bother reading a book? All children say this occasionally. Many of the 12 million adults in Britain with reading difficulties repeat it to themselves daily. But for the first time in the 500 years since Johannes Gutenberg democratised reading, in a world of accelerating technology, increasing time poverty and diminishing attention spans, should they invest precious time sinking into a good book?

  我们为什么要费神去读书呢?所有的孩子都曾经问过这个问题。英国有1200万成年人存在阅读困难的问题,他们每天也会这样问自己。从约翰内斯·古腾堡普及阅读至今已有500年了(小编注:1440年到1445年之间,德国人约翰内斯·古滕堡制造了世界上第一台铅活字印刷机),在这样一个技术不断加速发展的世界,人们感觉时间越来越少,能集中注意力的时间也越来越短,为什么还要把宝贵的时间投入到一本好书上呢?

  The discovery that our brains are physically changed by the experience of reading is something many of us will understand instinctively, as we think back to the way an extraordinary book had a transformative effect on the way we viewed the world. This transformation only takes place when we lose ourselves in a book, abandoning the emotional and mental chatter of the real world. That's why studies have found this kind of deep reading makes us more empathetic, or as Nicholas Carr puts it in his essay, The Dreams of Readers, "more alert to the inner lives of others".

  研究发现阅读会从生理上改变我们的大脑,当我们回想一下一本特别的书是如何转变我们的世界观的时候,就会立刻地理解这种变化。只有当我们在情感上和精神上忽视现实世界的琐碎生活、完全沉迷于书中的时候,这种转变才会发生。这就是为什么研究发现深度阅读会让我们更加感同身受。或者说,正如美国作家尼古拉斯·卡尔在他的著作《读者的梦》中所描述的那样, “阅读能使人更容易注意到他人的内心生活。”

  Rationally, we know that reading is the foundation stone of all education, and therefore an essential underpinning of the knowledge economy. So reading is – or should be – an aspect of public policy. But perhaps even more significant is its emotional role as the starting point for individual voyages of personal development and pleasure. Books can open up emotional, imaginative and historical landscapes that equal and extend the corridors of the web. They can help create and reinforce our sense of self.

  从理性角度来说,我们理解阅读是所有教育的基石,因而也是知识经济必要的支撑。所以阅读理所当然应当是公共政策的一部分。但可能更重要的是,它作为通向个人发展和幸福旅程的起点时扮演的感性角色。与网络相比,书籍在提升我们的情感、想象力和历史观方面更胜一筹。书籍也有助于创建和增强我们的自我感。

  If reading were to decline significantly, it would change the very nature of our species. If we, in the future, are no longer wired for solitary reflection and creative thought, we will be diminished. However, technology throws up as many solutions as it does challenges: for every door it closes, another opens. So the ability, offered by devices like e-readers, smartphones and tablets, to carry an entire library in your hand is an amazing opportunity. Publishers need to use every new piece of technology to embed long-form reading within our culture. We should concentrate on the message, not agonise over the medium. We should be agnostic on the platform, but evangelical about the content.

  如果阅读能力显著下降,人类的天性也会发生变化。如果我们将来不再自我反省、不再有创造性的思维,人类势必会消亡。不过技术给我们带来了很多挑战的同时,也为我们提供了多种解决方案:每关闭一扇门,另一扇门就会打开。电子书、智能手机、平板电脑这些设备让你在手中托起整个图书馆,这是一个绝好的机遇。出版商需要利用每一种新兴技术把长期阅读融入到我们的文化中。我们应该把注意力集中在信息本身,而不该为传播载体而烦恼。我们应该忽视平台而专注于内容。

  We must also get better at harnessing the ability of the internet to inform readers, and potential readers, about all the extraordinary new books that are published every year, and to renew their acquaintance with the best of rich literary tradition. The research shows that if we stop reading, we will be different people: less intricate, less empathetic, less interesting. There can hardly be a better reason for fighting to protect the future of the book.

  我们也要更好地利用互联网,为读者也包括潜在的读者提供每年值得看的新书信息,让他们重新熟识丰富多彩的传统文学精粹。研究表明,如果我们停止阅读,我们会变得不同:没那么精细、没那么善解人意,没那么有趣。再也没有比这更好的理由来努力保护图书的未来了。

标签:英语
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