When a book raises your spirit, and inspires you with noble and manly thoughts, seek for no other test of its excellence. --- It is good, and made by a good workman. --- Jean de la Bruyere
当一本书使你振奋，激励了你的高尚的真正的人的情操，你用不着去问他人此书的价值。 --- 它是本好书，是被好工匠写成的。 --- Jean de la Bruyere
By Kai Chen 陈凯 (Reprint 10/3/2011)
I cannot tell you enough how much good English books help me to rid off my old, defected thinking patterns and ill writing habits. When you are calm and read good books written in English, it is like using fresh water from fountain of life to cleanse all the decaying and nauseating remnants from your past that was forced upon you by your own culture and environment. The more good English books you read, the clearer your thoughts will be, and more logical and rational your thinking process will be, and the better decisions you will make in your life.
The first English novel I read after I came to America is "Rich Man, Poor Man". It was a great read. It had also been made a TV series. Later I read almost all Ayn Rand's novels and books, among others. The passion I felt from reading her book was unprecedented. Then I know we connected in our thoughts, even though we are from different worlds, different generations and speaking different languages. When you feel you are connected in your inner world with some authors, you know you have found the right book, and you know you are communicating in a timeless and spaceless fashion. This is the magic of being human, for only humans can communicate this way.
English, by itself, will foster your logical and rational thinking, while reading mostly Chinese will confuse you and muddle your head. This is due to the intrinsic nature of the languages themselves, which I have already elaborated in my numerous essays such as "从文字笼罐到文字狱“. English will help you straight out your thinking process, due to its own innate logical formation. I have benefited tremendously from using English as my main thinking and writing tool, away from Chinese. Here I recommend English book reading as a vehicle for you to progress toward a more logical and rational world, a more joyful and peaceful mind, a more meaningful existence.
The Chinese syndrome of "躁动", movements without purpose, will be cured by reading more books in English. It will calm you down, reduce your anxiety and meaninglessness.