The present article critiques a fairly common form of reading in the social media, in which the reader aimlessly browses a large collection of quotes and excerpts from famous books and well-known writers without any reflection on them or putting the ideas into the context. The author calls this form of interaction with the text as the "aphoristic style of reading". Aphoristic reading is useful in terms of sharing insightful thoughts, encouraging people to think about important aspects of life and inspire them to read the original text. However, it is not as useful as a thorough and thoughtful reading. Because in this case, the reader only goes through a huge collection of excerpts from various texts, without considering the original document or making meaningful links among the concepts. Consequently, instead of learning new useful knowledge or gaining a deep insight into a particular topic, the reader will only face an information overload without any valuable outcome. Based on what is discussed in this article, aphoristic style of reading has five main pitfalls that we need to carefully consider: (1) serious doubt about the authenticity of the quotes and citations; (2) deconstruction of the original text; (3) unawareness of the discourse as a bigger picture that gives meaning to the quote; (4) lack of meaningful links between various ideas (5) using the quotes out of the context to cover up fallacies. In general, aphoristic reading can sometimes be beneficial to promote axiomatic wisdom and provoke deeper thinking about a topic. Nonetheless, this form of reading is not sufficient to gain a clear insight about an issue. Therefore, for a real understanding of a topic we always need a comprehensive and reflective reading to contextualise ideas and construct meaningful outcomes.
|Translated title of the contribution||Damaging impacts of aphoristic style of reading|
|Specialist publication||Quarterly Journal of Reading Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Mar 2020|