The Simple Magic of Reading
Aug 16, 2008 Reading 1867 Views
"Books make a complete man," said a man centuries ago.
This holds true today as yesterday. Sadly, the young generation might have lost interest in reading books because more and more forms of entertainment compete for their attention. Movies enchant them, music and MTV grab their attention, and computer games challenge their skills. This is very disheartening, especially if we will take into consideration the vast amount of knowledge that we miss if we fail to read voraciously.
Maybe we must only remind ourselves of the reasons why we must read. Knowing the right reason will motivate us enough to immediately grab that novel, newspaper, magazine, or pamphlet that we have been ignoring all along.
We read to be informed. The primary reason why people usually start reading is that they want to be informed. They want to know more about life, human nature, people, civilization, issues, and society in general. We get to know what is happening around the world and how to cope up with changes. Through the pages of a book, we learn by indirectly experiencing various social phenomena.
We learn from the triumphs and downfalls of men throughout history through their life stories. Biographies allow us to live by their examples. We get to know the mistakes committed by people from generations before us so we need not go through the miseries they experienced.
Moreover, we enhance our capability to express ourselves through language and the arts. We learn from the patterns by which word combinations may be used. We learn new words each time we open a book and new ways to use old words.
We read books to be entertained. Depending on their type, reading materials allows us to experience a range of emotions, such as loneliness, anxiety, nostalgia, joy, anticipation, surprise, anger, despair, etc. Altogether, through books, we experience humanity.
An author once wisely said that reading a novel is very similar to watching a movie in our minds. Although sometimes it is better to read the book version of a story than see the blockbuster film version because of missing plots or elements and ruined flow of narration.
We read books to be empowered. One example of this is our seemingly perfunctory habit of reading the newspaper. Though it may appear like a ritual to some, browsing through the daily news has a purpose. It informs us about the latest global occurrences.
We keep track of events, see them from the perspective of both sides, and place events in the context of general societal conditions. This allows us to synthesize, formulate a stand, and decide the appropriate action for a better world.
We read to be informed, entertained, and empowered. Reading allows us to explore magical worlds, worlds that once existed and will exist in the future. Reading flexes our brain muscle enhancing creativity and imagination.
Go ahead, grab a book and have a grand time reading!