“Each time you read a book, a tree smiles knowing there’s life after death.”
You want to change yourself for better. What you need to do is take a book, open it and read the first page, and then you need to keep on reading. By the time you finish the last page, the girl you have been dating for the past two weeks wouldn’t be able to recognize you. To put this simply (for people who don’t like to read much), you are no longer the same person once you have finished reading a book.
And there are geniuses that the written word has to offer to you. You have Homer, Dante, Aristotle, Plato, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Walt Whitman, Tolstoy, E.A.Poe, Nietzsche, Darwin, Huxley, Nabokov, Joyce, Hemingway, Keller and Rushdie. These men are not just jugglers of words, they are magicians!
There is a growing notion among people as to why they should give in to hours and hours of reading when they could acquire entertainment out of movies and that too with visual streaming to give them an even more pragmatic experience. Well, the author of this piece must confide here that he himself is one true-blue perfervid cinema fan. But what he loves the most in cinema is the very essence of ‘bookishness’ in it. And what is the essence of books? It’s the build-up. It is the wait before the actual peripeteia or a climax kicks in. It’s not the crisis that we enjoy. It’s the foreshadowing, the waiting for the crisis.
A.A.Milne knew this when he wrote in Winnie-the-Pooh- ““Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.” This is why they say that nothing beats reading. A book does not merely open new doors; it opens entirely new dimensions for your imagination to thrive and contrive.
As the world is moving towards interconnectedness and networking, the need for solace in seclusion is growing. And what better break than to withdraw yourself to a nice cozy place and read a book. Grab a cup of tea or coffee whichever you may prefer. It is the most satisfactory of all truly personal moments one can steal away in today’s lives.
Earlier, people loved books because they satisfied people’s basic urges; to think, to learn and to inquire. Now there are various sources to read from. There are articles, journals, the screen that you are reading this piece on, news items and what not. And all these aren’t too bad at all for keeping up with the habit of reading. But of course, books will always have their own throne amidst them. Talking plain factually too, reading good books is time and again urged by everyone for improving communication skills, building up your vocabulary and inspiring creativity inside you. It helps in academics too because no matter what stream you pursue, there will always be the need to go through whole volumes of books multiple times if you need to master your subjects. Thus, this time and teacher tested mantra of reading will always be beneficial in your lives.
Having said that, it is also imperative for the author here to caution you that one must always strive to filter good-reading out of the whole reading cluster. It becomes much more important in present day India because the youth today seems to be fooling itself with the mirage of reading whereas it is simply gulping down cheap ‘Masala’ fiction. Something is better than nothing but not always. Reading, thus, should always be full of substance and backed by thought so as to bring about the best results. As Dr. Seuss says-
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”