The pleasure one gets from reading a good book is only understood by a fellow reader. Not caring how you look, not caring about your meals, becoming a complete social retard till the end of the book is reached are all signs of a Readaholic. Reading for the sake of reading is dying. Reading the newspaper, reading something work related, reading to teach your kids or your parents is not what I have in mind.
The curling of your toes when you read a romance, the biting of your nails or sitting on the edge of your seat while you read a thriller, the characters of the book becoming so real that you actually start to care about what happens to them, becoming so engrossed in the book that you laugh and cry out loud according to the story not even noticing when people stare at you thinking that you’re a lunatic, having endless fights with your mother to let you read just one more chapter, staying awake the whole night to finish a novel of thousand pages is what I mean by Reading.
In today’s world of social media and video games and all other kinds of entertainment, the books are taking a back seat. But people don’t know what they’re missing. The magical world of Harry Potter, the unceasing delight that Enid Blyton is, the hair-raising climax of Sidney Sheldon, the evergreen classics such as Pride and Prejudice, Gone With The Wind and many more can never be substituted. I do not want to preach, but I do believe that every child should inculcate the habit of enjoying a good read if we miss it in our childhood we should try to make up for it in our adult lives.
I once asked my best friend, who as a matter of fact is a voracious reader as well as a shopaholic and clothes addict, what her choice would be if she had to give up the other for a whole year: books or shopping. First of all, she informed me that she sincerely hoped that she would never have to make such a choice but if push came to shove she would give up shopping. “Shopping is my therapy, it soothes my frazzled nerves, but reading is neither therapy nor a pastime for me. Books are my life line, they keep me sane in this insane world, they keep me company during my loneliness, they inspire me, give me hope and let me believe in the illusion that everything will be all right again. And so I could never give them up even for a day.”
Reading not for bettering ourselves but for the joy of it is dwindling but is that such a catastrophe? I thought it was but revisiting the issue left me unsure. The fact that reading is a dying habit doesn’t negate the fact that kids of the future generation are becoming smarter day by day. They are more aware of the happenings in the world, can formulate opinions and express them quite succinctly. They are street smart, and they don’t need books for that. In this space and age of technology and connectivity, with the world becoming a global village people are more interested in keeping up with each other and the world than in losing themselves in a book.
People are trying new things and exploring different avenues. They are learning to discover themselves and for this, they are breaking out of the mold of accepted pleasures and joys which have included reading from ancient times. Haven’t all parents wanted their child to read regardless whether they enjoy a good book or not. Children, I think, have now started to decide from an early age itself what they feel will bring them joy and if reading is not it then so be it.