Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Reading is Fundamental

Written by: on January 11, 2024


Growing up as a child I was introduced to the popular saying, reading is fundamental. This simple but complex saying stayed etched in my mind throughout my life’s journey. It speaks to a highly valued skill that is essential for a person’s growth and lifelong learning. What I took from this saying is reading is the gateway to understanding and knowledge and paves the way to wisdom.


Books were my initial entry towards reading, I will never forget my high school experience as a freshman getting hit with a summer syllabus that required book readings. I remember how anxious I was about the required reading and the book report which had to accompany it on my first day of class. I can still recall the feelings of nervousness, anxiety, and personal doubts concerning my comprehension and retention as we were instructed to read these books cover to cover.


Embarking upon my doctoral journey, high school has revisited me yet again, this time I am armed with more ammunition as I read How To Read a Book and How To Take Notes. During my formative years, I dedicated countless hours to deciphering every word, yet the elusive comprehension seemed to slip through my grasp. Time ticked away, yielding minimal progress, and I found myself steeped in a sense of defeat, convinced that the full understanding remained just out of reach. Over time, I managed to increase my reading speed, yet I continued to doubt my overall retention. A pivotal moment occurred when a professor shared a perspective that resonated deeply with me: “Daren, you don’t have to devour every page of a book cover to cover to truly understand it; you can still grasp the essence of the book.”



Our readings perfectly echoed the advice of my college professor. Although he never explicitly mentioned inspectional reading or suggested an ideal reading speed, the insights gleaned from these books put gas in my tank for the upcoming semester. Initially hesitant about skimming, as it seemed like a form of cheating, the mounting assignments and diminishing time compelled me to embrace it as a valuable tool in my educational journey. Navigating through authors with a hidden talent for repetitive writing, I discovered the art of effective notetaking, allowing me to grasp the essence of the reading without falling prey to the monotony of it.


Notetaking seamlessly integrated into my professional life as a journalist, where capturing quotes and essential information was a daily ritual. However, applying the same practice to book reading felt somewhat unfamiliar. I proudly wield the title of a highlight master—there’s a color for every mood in my bag! (LOL) Given the anticipated reading load, the insights gathered from both readings are poised to be invaluable. I approach the DLGP journey with a blend of hope, confidence, and eager anticipation, expecting it to yield abundant fruit. Reading is truly fundamental but learning the fundamentals can also be life-giving.







About the Author

Daren Jaime

5 responses to “Reading is Fundamental”

  1. Diane Tuttle says:

    Hi Daren, I remember the saying. What a gift that your note taking and writing skills will come into play so well for this program. The note taking still needs to grow in my field.

  2. Nancy Blackman says:

    Hi Daren,
    Ohhhh, I’m so glad I’m not the only multi-color highlighter in the room! I love to color code things because it’s the way my brain processes. I also use color-coded post-its on printed books too ;-).

    Your opening paragraph about the statement — reading is fundamental — reminds me of an embroidered patch that I sewed onto my sling bag, purchased from a popular restaurant in the DC area called Busboys and Poets. That patch reads, “Read. Rise. Resist.” I connect that to your “reading is fundamental” in the sense that you can do so much more when you read first.

    Thanks for sharing your journey!

    How do you imagine that “reading is fundamental” will guide you through the doctorate program as you not just read, but take notes and retain all the information?

  3. Graham English says:

    Hi Darren, I resonate with your last line because I feel more empowered as I embark on this leg of my own journey by learning the fundamentals. Like you, I’m building on the skills that I have developed previously.
    How will you decide what is important and what is not quite as important among the various highlights found in your book?

  4. Chad Warren says:

    Daren, thank you for sharing a bit of your story. I had some flashbacks as you described your high school summer reading experience. I am curious how you ended up overcoming the nervousness, anxiety, and personal doubts to succeed that summer? I imagine it helped you develop some tools and forged a particular mental toughness that will serve you in this adventure.

  5. Elysse Burns says:

    Daren, I enjoyed reading about your experience with required summer reading in high school. I share a similar story. I remember the summer before my freshman year of high school, trying to figure out what annotating meant. I remember feeling the same anxiety about my retention level. In a sense, I think that same nervousness followed me throughout my college career.

    I deeply resonated with the last statement in your post, learning the fundamentals is life-giving. Thank you for this thought. I appreciate that Adler and Van Doren gave me a vocabulary for the practices I have developed over time and revealed to me some bad habits that need to be changed. I’m ready to embrace the fundamentals.

    Now a very important question. How many highlighters are we talking about?

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