Reading for Selective Test Preparation: Steve Xu’s Story

Summary Keywords

book, read, selective test, implore, parents, asked, answer, robert greene, huddled, george orwell’s animal, solving, classic, friends, ideation, year, understand, self help book, condemned


Steve Xu


Steve Xu 00:03

A lot of parents asked me Steven, how do I encourage my child to read? How do I get them interested in reading?

What Books Should I Read?

And whenever I hear those questions, I always struggled because I remember when I was a child, which was not that long ago, and I hated reading, I abhorred reading. You know, back in the day, in year seven, I remember this. So distinctly, we had a special reading class, it was Friday, at 2pm, after lunch, we’d all huddled down and we’d go down to the library. There’ll be a solid hour and a half, we told the street, there was a reading initiative to encourage us to read. So the teacher would be like, hey, Steven, pick your books, pick your books, go find books, your five minutes, find a book, I’d find a random book, and I’d go into the reading place the reading room, and for the next hour, I would begin to pretend to read, right, I wouldn’t get any reading done, I would basically look at a book blankly.

Trust me, it was the dullest experience. It was the dullest experience of my life, because you sit there, you’re printing to read, you’re reading like some of the ones you look at the teacher and the teachers looking at you. And then you got to pretend to read again. And this would go on for an entire year. Now I look back at that I’m gonna like, you know, I wasted a lot of time. But the problem was, whenever I asked teachers, when I, whenever I asked my mom or my dad or anybody, why should I read, they’ll always say things like, oh seven, you should read, because it’s going to build your reading comprehension, you should read because it’s good for you, you should read because it helps you with other Reading helps with your learning. For a 12 year old or an 11 year old or a 10 year old. Those aren’t very inspiring reasons. Those aren’t good reasons. And so at the time, I thought that I was the only one but I looked at all the other kids in the class and they were all experienced in sample there would be pretending to read, nobody would be reading, there’d be maybe one or two people who’d read, most of them would be pretending to read. 


It was not until when I was about 14-15 years old. So this was about two, three years later. When I was in year eight, in year nine, I first started developing a curiosity or a thirst for knowledge. Because at the time, all starting to question the Well, I’ll start to ask my mom questions like, Hey, Mom, why are there certain people who are more successful than others, even though they have less academics, even though they’re not as academic qualified? And she wouldn’t be able to answer those questions like all of us, were just well caught. I’d asked my dad things like, Hey, Dad, how do I manage my time better? You know, he just gave me some generic advice, like, well, we’ll just work harder and, you know, keep keep a calendar of what you do and set goals. 

Every single time I came out of those conversations where I’d be asked my friends, I’d be asked my family for advice on problems that I had. I’d come out somewhat grateful, but also extremely frustrated. Because never was I ever getting the answer that I wanted to get. I knew that there was something there that I wasn’t quite getting it. So I remember one day I was I was going on the internet. And I think Amazon was open at the time. And along the side in the recommended list. I remember it said How to Win Friends and Influence People. That was the book’s name. And I looked at the title. And I was like, what an interesting and what a catchy headline, how on up is a book going to be able to teach me how to win friends and influence people. So I locked it up. I thought it was a bit of a joke at the time, but I still bought the book. And it arrived about a week two weeks later. Because I had nothing to do at the time. I was like, Okay, let’s open it up and start reading. And as I started reading, I didn’t stop. And this was the very, very first time that I read a book from cover to cover in one sitting. Now keep in mind, it’s a self help book. It’s not a literature classic. It’s not a great book. But it was profound. And it changed my ideation, my belief system to read it. Now I realize hey, wait, wait, wait a second, Dale Carnegie said, You know what? never condemned. Always price. someone’s name is the greatest sound to the ears. I started learning all of these pivotal lessons. After I read that book, I started reading Malcolm Gladwell outliers. And that book turned me to Robert Greene mastery. I started reading all and all of the self development books and the more I read, the thirstier I got, the more books I wanted to consume in the valley. 


Soon I’ll starting to read the classics 1984 George Orwell’s Animal Farm. I was starting to understand and piece together my own idea of the world while solving my own problems. I remember later on when I was 18, 19 years old when I was very, very lost in terms of the world and searching for answers and searching for things to do. I knew that at this time I’m a lot of these problems want things that I could talk to my parents about? Because they probably didn’t have the best answers or no my friends know my fellow associates but books

So I implore you, if you’re a parent right now, or if you’re a student, and you’re struggling to read, I think the most important thing is start with why. Why are you reading a copy for just improving your reading comprehension? It cannot be just for improving your grammar or you syntax or whatever. There needs to be a very, very strong, compelling reason that drives you to read for me, it’s solving problems. For me, it’s understanding more about myself. I love psychology. I love philosophy. I love reading those books. Why? Because it helps me understand more about me. And so I implore you all after after watching this video, pick up a book. Try to find some that you’re interested in. Don’t just go for bookless. Try to find some of the interested in but just for all the parents. I know you guys want to book lists. What I’ve done is I’ve attached a book list down below, click the link, and hopefully, you guys will enjoy thank

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