Developing a reading habit


“I would rather be poor in a cottage full of books than a king without the desire to read”

            Thomas Babington Macaulay

In a world of technology, computers and fast tracked search engines, who needs books? The answer is, we all do. What makes a man “a man” is knowledge. We cannot afford to produce a generation full of empty vessels that are louder but hollow. The quest to learn more and thirst builds on, jut as you delve deeper into this habit. Unlike other addictive non-productive habits, reading not only brings age of reason to ones life, it lets you unfold the philosophies less understood by the common man. It adds a crown and makes you a king of your own kingdom, where you weigh your accomplishments in terms of the mental lexicon.

The sense of satisfaction that your time and energies had not been wasted, not only keeps you mentally active and fertile, it brings a harmony in the otherwise chaotic pattern of life. One tends to formulate a logical perspective of everything seen and experienced and reach a conclusion based on cognitive powers, rather than emotional ones. This is the only key to a balanced life, I wouldn’t say that it shadows the emotional side, rather it weaves a beautiful mesh of aesthetics, which is necessary to appreciate the beauty and serenity around us.

People get serious psychological problems because of the lack of sleep these days and the surveys show, that this effects their professional and social lives. The cure is simple, read an interesting book before you sleep and it works way more efficiently than any tranquilizer or sleep inducing medication. This has been proved medically, reading relaxes you and takes you into a world of imagination, just like a movie does, only that it is way better than that because you build your own characters and scenarios.

It is always good to begin with simpler reading patterns, fictions preferably and then move onto complex more challenging genres. The key is to train the brain to keep learning and wanting to learn because the more you pour into this vessel the more absorbent it becomes. Always imagine the characters and feel the situations the author talks about, that way it would get imprinted in your memory and you can use the phrases and vocabulary to start writing later if it interests you. If you can manage, always write a short review of the book you’ve read in a personal note book, it doesn’t have to be professional, just your account and view of the subject you just read.

Try to do it every night or twice a day, anything that comfortably gels with your schedule. For house wives it could be any where between the usual chores and for working people it could be at night or at weekends. Try reading a variation of books, so that the habit doesn’t get boring. Although reading is the only known habit in the world that never gets out of fashion, you would see loads of people travelling or waiting for their bus spending their spare time reading, carrying books or e-readers. Where technology put a vast border between books and readers, it bridged the gap by designing beautiful and easy to carry e-readers, some of them using the technology called “e-ink” imitating the look and feel of a real book, only you can own thousands of books without them weighing more than a few ounces.

Having said all this, never give up on this passion because like Edward P. Morgan said,

“A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face.  It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy”

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