The Joy of Reading

img_20161021_115309Our generation and the ones coming after are severely underestimating the joy of reading. With social media taking up the free time that was earlier used to read a book, reading has been left behind. Reading for relaxation has become so rare that every time we read we post it on Instagram with hashtags like #joyofreading #loveforreading as it has become once in a while thing, and that too many of us don’t even completely read the books about which we post. I hardly find people who love to read or read at least a little every day. If not any books, earlier most would at least glance through a newspaper every morning. Even that is now replaced with 30-word-news on smartphone apps. All this is done in the name of saving time and guess what we are doing with the time saved? No prize for guessing – we are using it again on smartphones – surfing social media, playing games online or e-shopping.

The joy of reading an actual book is something which cannot be replaced by any digital content. The touch of paper in your hand, the smell of old books, the spots left behind on some page by the small tea drop, sudden stumble on a flower pressed between the pages, sad to say but all this is lost. Reading is a joyous activity. You get transported to a different world – the world of those fictional characters, you start understanding different perspectives, you start empathizing with the characters, you travel the world with it, visit places along with those characters and some places which do not even exist – how exciting is that!  There is a popular saying ‘A book is your best friend’ and no kidding, it is true! You find solace in reading. All your worries are set aside when the book is in your hands and trust me, if the book is good enough it leaves an impact on you and stays with you forever.

I was introduced to extra – curricular reading quite early at home when my father had a subscription for Reader’s Digest. That was the first ever material apart from school books which I lay my hands on. During secondary school this reading took a hiatus until I went to college as television and internet took undue preference. I was re-introduced to fiction reading by my roommate in college who had a collection of Sidney Sheldon novels which she used only during her train commute between home and college once in six months. Sidney Sheldon got me hooked, never ever to have a time again when I won’t have a book at my nightstand on regular days and my bag during travels.

I wish that all of us and the generations after us do not give up on reading. If you are a parent read bedtime stories to your little one from the beginning, gift them a good book with every other present you give them on any occasion, if you are a student reading apart from school might sound boring but do not underestimate the way it can relax you, if a regular professional read to reduce stress.

In fact, there are many people and organizations who are trying to do whatever they can to get people to read. Read their amazing initiatives here:

http://www.katha.org/site/about-us/challenges/reading/

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35742282

This new year let us add ‘Reading More’ to the top of the list of our new year resolutions and truly attempt to not break this resolution ever.

 

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