With the advent of blogs at our finger tips, the notion of reading books has become primitive. And so has the feel of a paperback and its scent. But is this called for? Can’t the two worlds co-exist peacefully? Books have a purpose and that is so not to titivate your book-shelf exclusively. It’s not the reading of the classics of a language you should be going for just yet, it’s merely the discovery of the joy in reading that will do.
Reading is a real treat for your brain
I’m stating the obvious, even so the fact that reading improves your mental health can’t be over emphasized. It’s an active process, unlike the watching television which is passive. You learn to utilize your mental faculties, accordingly ending up becoming sharper than ever. You finally learn to be proud of your memory!
Reading opens up a new world before your eyes
Lord Tennyson remarks that ‘Life piled on life/ Were all too little’ in order to ‘follow knowledge like a sinking star’. Reading challenges the confines you have been living in for so long. It automatically opens up new venues for your mind to wander about. For example, Marxism and Shaw’s concept of the Life Force. You come across the greatest intellectuals of all time and the likes of their ideas, principles and theories. You are, by and large, acquainted with fresh places, cultures, customs, etc.
Reading leads you to write
If you’re a budding writer, reading is indispensable for you. Getting in touch with other writers is going to hone and chisel your own writing skills. You’ll be bubbling with a creative and novel vision. Even the mundane of all newspapers has the potential to be your muse!
Reading leads you to live more than one life
When you read, you ‘are laid asleep/ In body and become a living soul’. You become one with the characters. With them you go places, feel the gush of first love and get your heart broken. This unison is the very part and parcel of reading.
Reading inculcates the values of discipline and concentration in you
Discipline comes hand in hand with cultivating a habit of reading. You may have started reading a book but to finish it and move to another is a matter of discipline. The good things is, however, discipline can be mastered. Reading is an antidote to our low attention spans. When you are engrossed in a novel, all you would want to know is what happens to the protagonist (or the antagonist in some cases) at the end. Does Pip and Estella meet? You can’t wait to turn the last page. Even then, oddly enough, indelible characters like Emma and Mr. Knightley will continue to live through you long after you have turned the last page.
Reading leads you to a good night’s sleep
I’m not going to harp on how you should abandon your electronic communication devices at least an hour before sleep. But reading for some time before bed makes your body and brain ready for sleep. Nothing better than a good night story after all the hectic humdrum, right?
Reading is low maintenance
Reading is not an extravagant undertaking. It’s a simple activity which you can perform anytime you want. Nor does it hurt your pocket. So the next time you’re grabbing coffee or visiting the botanical park, don’t forget to fetch the copy of a book you’ve ‘always wanted to read’.
Reading never lets you to be lonely
While human interaction is desirable, a book has the power to replace and take precedence over it. You’re in the subway alone because your colleague had to leave early that day. So what do you do? Open the ‘best-seller’ novel that’s been making rounds in your office bag for ages now! A book will not allow boredom to take its toll on you and it is ever ready to serve you. You don’t need to be in a particular setting for the sake of reading, it can be done anywhere you want.
Reading inspires you
When reading, you come to terms with people who have lived before you and who have faced the same problems as you. You get to know how they have dealt with the crises in their lives. In reality, a book can be rightly termed as the microcosm of the world we live in. Fiction deals primarily with human nature, so how can Joyce not inspire you?
Reading gives you topics to talk about
So you’re on a date and you’re done with the initial pleasantries. A bibliophile can now talk about the last book he has read or about the one he’s currently reading. Who can refute that intelligence is a turn on? You’ll notice how impressed your date is with your smartness. Besides, this will also help you know if the two of you are in the same page. Just saying!
Reading will boost your self-esteem
A person who is well read is a scholar, revered and looked up to. And if you’re one such learned person, you can’t help feeling good about yourself. And why wouldn’t you? Such kinds of accomplishment heighten your sense of self because you’ve not emerged as another run of the mill person.
Reading will help you set a good example to others
You may get inspiration from books and someone else may be inspired by you. How brilliant would that be? Life is repeatedly measured in terms of how much good we do to others. But you can inspire another human being (to read) only when you have sufficiently and painstakingly trod on the same path and continue doing so.
I expect the list must have come as an eye opener to many. And I do hope that my voice will impel you to take up your long lost friend, drive away the wide layer of dust and getaway at length.On the contrary, for developing a habit of reading, consistency is rudimentary. I don’t mean to daunt your spirits, but reading a book (or books that are prescribed as a part of your academic curriculum) doesn’t overlap the habit of reading books. It’s a habit you’re mindful about and stick by regularly. Only then will you be able to reap the harvest you have sown. Good luck to you!