Reading can change your life but reading good books improves your life. All the books which have the potential to impact the life of a reader can be considered sensitive. Because impact can be positive or negative. Just reading anything without even knowing can have adverse effects. There are few genres of books which are considered sensitive; history books, spiritual books and whatever tries to change your views about the world. So it is extremely important to understand if a book is trying to manipulate you with someone’s purpose. If done carelessly, you might be a victim to someone’s propaganda.
I am always curious about how the world works, and the best way to understand the world is to read history books. But the problem is, no history book can provide you 100% information. In that way, a history book provides you partial information forming a selective point of view towards any specific side. A good book shouldn’t be inflicting any idea in your mind, instead, just provide you with clarity about the topic and expand your knowledge. It should be under your authority to judge and realise.
Here in this article, I am sharing some points which a reader should keep in mind while reading to make sure it doesn’t follow anything blindly, and pick the things selectively which makes sense for you. The ideas from a book should negotiate with your existing ideas to make a place in your mind.
Tips to avoid being manipulated by a book
1. Read from multiple sources
Especially while reading history books, you should be reading books by multiple authors, and if available, read from a neutral source (may be an author from another country). Reading multiple books for the same timespan/story in history will give you more clarity on both sides. Focus on the facts, not opinions. Connect the dots yourself and then form your own opinion. Try to explore both sides of a coin and you’ll be able to figure out if something is misleading or trying to manipulate readers.
2. Do not fall for the beauty of words
Especially when you are reading spiritual books, always keep a second eye on what the author is trying to make you believe. Authors of spiritual books usually have excellent writing and oratory skills and it is very easy to fall for the language. Such books make use of the intense language to manipulate readers into believing something nasty. Don’t focus on the beauty of the sentences and words, but the meaning. Beware of something which is trying to make you believe in anything without any strong grounds. Try to make sense and think about the implications. A faulty spiritual book can paralyse your mind. One thumb idea is not to believe 100% and whatever said, try to relate it with reality and see if it really make sense. Accept the things which make sense and feel free to reject and question the ones which don’t.
3. Do not accept proverbs as justifications
Proverbs are familiar and relatable sayings which give advice. But the inherent problem with proverbs is that they can be misleading. Pay extra attention wherever the author has used proverbs, small stories and examples to declare the goodness of an idea or to justify something. The author must have picked the only ones which fits into his opinion. If you look closely, there will be plenty of those proverbs and stories which will contradict the ideas. Not all proverbs, but many can be used to manipulate the audience. Think of a proverb related to ”hard work” which an employer can use to take extra advantage of his employees. Proverbs are good but look at the context. Do not accept proverbs as justification for something.
4. Research the author and read negative reviews of the book
See what is the authority of the person who wrote the book. Also, look for the book reviews. The book might have a thousand 5 star ratings but do not fall for the rating only. Read reviews from readers who gave a bad rating and look at their opinions. Read both positive and negative reviews because just the positive reviews won’t help you. You can visit our Book Review section to read honest book reviews.
Dealing with manipulative books
Read, read more. Doubt, doubt more. Eventually, you’ll start seeing things as they really are. Control your emotions when you find something exciting and analyse that properly before accepting it. Do not blindly follow anything you read. Do not accept something without reading about it. Moreover never accept anything just by reading about it. It is a great skill to read something without accepting it. Try to negotiate a new idea with your existing ideas and see if it actually worthy. There are plenty of good books available, all you need is recognise those. You never know which one will change your life.
Do you realise if a book is trying to manipulate you? If yes, share your views with us in the comments section below, please leave a feedback and share if you like this post. You can contact us if you have any questions or requests.