If you ask any history student, or truly anyone that fancies reading history they would probably tell you that both pretty much go hand in hand. Whether this might not resonate with you, the truth is that maybe you haven’t quite gotten a grasp over the way you learn history.
The truth is, ultimately, that to become educated in any subject for that matter requires that you pick up a book and actually begin to read relevant ideas that have been developed over long pages and chapters, rather than Wikipedia articles. A book is far more valuable than hard and emotionless facts from an article. The reason being is that a book sometimes offers the author’s perspective as well as reasonable logical assumptions of the material, in other words his/her own interpretation.
Thus, it is by reading other historian’s interpretations that we begin to understand the manner in which a point of view, or rather, an understanding of a type of history is developed. This, in contrast, to the cold and hard facts of Wikipedia articles which do not provide an understanding or view, as they are merely an reiteration of facts, dates and happenings. Still, that does not mean that their use is null. A book provides the heart necessary to understand and perhaps even relate to certain historical matters.
The reason therefore why history and reading go hand in and is because they are connected by the demand of the reader and learner to use biased opinions, ideas and individual interpretations which ultimately make history and reading enjoyable.
Published in The Art of Polemics, Issue 2, on Sept 9th, 2014.