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Tao Letian Joins the “New Youth Enjoy Reading” Salon

MAY . 03 2017
Peking University, April 25, 2017:On April21, the 18th Reading Salon “World Reading Day·Reading Classics And Life—New Youth·Enjoy Reading” co-hosted by PKU New Youth Network Culture Studio and Peking University Library, was held at Rm. 204, Student Center. Tao Letian, a researcher at School of Life Sciences,was invited to be a “reading mentor” and lead students to read Yuval Noah Harari’s book A Brief History of Mankind.
 
Before the 2015 “World Reading Day”, PKU New Youth Network Culture Studio initiated the “New Youth·Enjoy Reading” Reading Salon, and 18 sessions has been held up until now. Over the last two years, many admirable teachers has attended such reading salons, creating a favorable reading atmosphere wherein autonomous reading, thinking and discussing are encouraged. In 2016, Yun Shuxie “Love Reading” scholarship, co-sponsored by PKU New Youth Network Culture Studio and alumni enterprises, came into effect. It was the first scholarship that aims at promoting reading on campus.
 
Tao Letian reading with students
 
The mentor’s lead-reading and Q&A are fixed sections of the salon. During the lead-reading section, Tao Letian at first raised several questions regarding the book, including its context, its thesis statements, and its argumentative framework, etc. Then starting from ordinary life, he guided students to observe and analyze some daily phenomena that we tend to take for granted, and proceeded to touch upon the essence of those issues. Tao then shared his reading habit—taking notes while reading, along with some classic aphorisms that he has copied on his notebook. During the Q&A section, students raised questions as to the confusion they have encountered while reading A Brief History of Mankind, which Tao answered patiently.
 
Since this reading salon was a special one for the “World Reading Day”, Tao shared his recommended booklist in the hope of helping students select books. (The booklist is given in the appendix at the end of this news)
 
“World Reading Day” was established by UNESCO on April 23, 1995. In accordance with the rapid development of the Internet in the 21st century, internet-based reading has burgeoned. These great breakthroughs, though transcending the limits of time and space, also generated defects such as “fragmented information”. Should we adhere to traditions or seek reformations? PKU New Youth Network Culture Studio advocates a comprehensive understanding of internet development, and encourages students to choose wisely between the traditional way of reading and electronic reading. Therefore, the “New Youth·Enjoy Reading” Salon is brought out, aiming at promoting reading as well as highlighting the vivification of Peking University’s humanism.   
 
Appendix:
Recommended Books
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human
Cloud Atlas
The Story of Your Life and Others
Blind Assassin
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
The Botany of Desire
Emperor of All Maladies
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome
 
Written by: Wei Yunqi
Edited by: Xu Penghang
Source: PKU News (Chinese)