Reading Tradition Fading Away!

Jul 22, 2019 by Agrita Chhibber #Books & Education

“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.” ― Voltaire

The art of reading which was at once considered as a source of great enjoyment has now been put to the back seat as media and entertainment industry have come up with various shows that have glued up the audience to the screen. Various applications like Netflix, ALT Balaji, and Amazon prime have been started and are creating more entertaining stuff in order to gain a greater audience and putting other useful activities at rest.

Reading as a child was the one thing I enjoyed the most, and the school library was a place I would call “storeroom of happiness”, you can well imagine why. For me, reading was not just moving through the pages or rolling eyes over the printed page just to finish off the text, it was more like living in it and making acquaintance with those characters and actually getting connected to them in a way that when the book would finish off I would actually miss them, sounds crazy? Ok, you can try it too, pick up a book and get connected to it.

Books are like that box which contains different spices that you add to your favorite meal according to your mood. Books have different genres, different themes, none book is similar to one another. Some books give you a first-hand experience of things that you may not have experienced till now or have never thought about it. Some may fill you with strength and optimism to deal with situations in a bold and courageous way without feeling defeated. Some may just be light-hearted stories to make you daydream. Here I would quote, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested” by Francis Bacon.

With the passing time reading has evolved in many ways. Today reading material is not just confined to printed pages but has moved to digital screens like the Kindle, which has stored up to 1400 books with special contrast screen that makes reading more fun and convenient. But, personally, I would still choose hardcover over digital text. Reading is a source of great enlightenment, the things which you may find tedious to go through otherwise can be made interesting when presented in the form of a story. For instance, you may find reading about the political upheaval of Afghanistan really taxing but if you pick up the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini you get a glimpse of the past in an entertaining narration which builds up the interest to read further about it. Isn’t it amazing?

Reading has been replaced with digital gaming in the current era. Children find digital games as an extremely easy way to pass off time affecting their eyesight, mental health, and indulging in the constant activity of no learning ends up making them couch potatoes. Reading can be considered as escapism to the utopian world where anything is possible. Reading provides you with an abundance of knowledge about the past, solutions for the present, and ideas for the future. Reading blossoms your imagination and brain to the fullest, which those digital games like PUBG surely won’t help you with. So, better make a good choice.

With the advent of the age of social networking sites and the glorification of digital media, the time that was earlier invested in leisure reading has now been replaced by spending hours & hours of reading status updates and other meaningless banter on these pages. The abating reading habit amongst today’s youth is certainly an issue of concern and if it’s not remedied, there’ll soon come a time when we’ll find books in museums instead of libraries. I guess we all agree with this statement.

So, here’s a small tip for activating a reader hiding inside you:

To get into reading you need to kick start from those books that you like or the plot that interests you. Reading is not about picking text of Homer and Virgil just to flaunt that you have such great writers in your collection and chances are they may remain there forever untouched. Pick any book of your interest doesn’t matter if it is simple, all that matters is to start reading. Start your journey from a simple path and accept different challenges along the way. Try it today.

The school plays a major role in developing interest among students for reading. Children should be encouraged to take library classes seriously and it should be made sure that they are reading and not just passing time gossiping with their friends. The workload should be decreased a bit instead of reading should be added to their activity. The library should have variety in their collection from short stories to the classics.

Students should be asked to start with a light, entertaining stories, then gradually moving to complex subjects like nonfiction and autobiographies. Reading enhances the personality and adds to the vocabulary which helps the students in the long run. Library classes should be extended to three days a week for the students, so they can dedicate more effective time for reading. They should be asked to read some kind of short story or their favorite piece of article daily and the next day they can have an interactive session with their class. Like this, it will add to their knowledge and will gain the habit of reading as they grow. Parents too should encourage the child to read beyond their syllabus a bit, as to gain knowledge is our mantra.

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” ― Groucho Marx