In his essay “The Art of Reading: Becoming a Reader in the 21st Century,” Richard Straub argues that readers should consider themselves to be creative and active participants in their reading experiences. He believes that the type of reader one is directly contributes to the quality of their engagement with literature and other forms of writing. To him, becoming a successful reader involves developing an open-mindedness and willingness to explore new ideas.
According to Straub, what kind of reader should you consider yourself?
Straub encourages readers to adopt a critical mindset when reading so that they can truly appreciate and understand each text as it was intended by its author. He also urges them to not just passively accept what authors present but instead actively question what is being said or implied within the work itself. This means evaluating the various perspectives presented, making connections between different texts, considering how language choices shape meaning, etc. In order for this form of engaged reading to take place, he recommends overcoming preconceived notions about certain genres or topics—that way one will remain open to understanding them more deeply without bias.
Additionally, Straub emphasizes fostering emotional intelligence while reading in order to gain insight into meaningful themes or messages within each work. For instance, he encourages readers to pay attention not only to plot points but also how characters are depicted throughout stories—Are they relatable? Are any particular emotions emphasized? By delving deeper into these elements and questioning why writers include them in their works, readers can better understand the overall point being made by authors which adds further depth and appreciation for each piece they read.
Finally, Straub asserts that readers should strive for intellectual growth through their experiences with books as well as exposure to new types of texts outside typical literary works such as news articles or blogs about current events; playing video games; listening closely for rhetorical devices used in speeches or debates; reflecting on personal memories; etcetera (anything relevant). The point here is that engaging with all sorts of formats allows people’s knowledge base about material culture and thought processes from our times—and even earlier ones—to expand which consequently aids further understanding upon returning back again specifically towards literature itself (as seen from multiple lens).
Overall, Richard Straub encourages individuals who want become effective 21st century readers should treat themselves like creative agents rather than passive recipients by critically engaging with texts at hand while remaining open-minded enough experiment outside traditional literary boundaries when exploring new ideas related thereto. Doing so helps foster an appreciation for literature alongside a greater awareness regarding our own cultural context which serves beneficial purposes beyond mere entertainment value alone!