The Joy Of Reading

Reading can a joy. You just need to know what it offers and how to get the most out of it.

Curling up with a book and a cup of hot coffee on a cold winter night may be sound like fun to some people out there but those of us who are addicted to reading know just how wonderful it feels to lose yourself into a whole new world. So we also know exactly what Gustave Flaubert was trying to say when he exclaimed, "Read in order to live'. And don't we all want to live and not just exist?

I was exposed to books at a very young age, when my father would clutter this cupboards and every available space with books ranging in subject anywhere from management to history to science. It was then only natural that I grew up loving the printed matter, I read just about anything from newspapers to books to magazines. Reading is such a passion with me that I am absolutely certain that nothing else would ever be able to replace it. So is the case with all book-lovers, with varying intensity.

Reading offers both pleasure and information but it is up to the reader to attain a healthy balance between fiction reading and non-fiction study so as to be able to get the most out of this addictive habit. Benefits would always come to those who read, whether they are consciously aware of them or not. Reading always works its magic, regardless of who you are and what is it that you are reading, provided it's not trash.

The most wonderful thing that reading offers is a peep into another world. when you pick up a book and lose yourself into it, its like you have transcended your present situation. This temporary escape from our routine life is of great significance when it comes to your mental health. We all have day-to-days tasks to take care of, and many a times we go to bed all tense and frustrated and sometimes just downright bored with life. This is when reading comes to our rescue and we should welcome it with open arms if we truly want to be happy and alive. To be able to forget our problems, or simply to forget ourselves for sometime, is not only healthy"¦ it is essential too, if one wants to keep ones sanity intact. Reading offers us a chance to see the world from someone else's eyes, thus broadening our horizons and opening our minds to new possibilities. Don't ever forget the words of Sir Richard Steele, who said, "Reading is to mind what exercise is to the body".

You emerge out of this trance-like situation, fully refreshed, with a clearer vision and rejuvenated spirit. So the next time you feel as if your mental batteries could do with a recharge, pick up a good book and immerse yourself into for a good hour or so. And mind you, this solution comes with a guarantee card.

Whether you read for pleasure or information, you are bound to benefit in one way or another because fiction and non-fiction both offer something of value and therefore their company must be cherished. Though non-fiction varies in category from self-help books to those concerning science and geography, they can do anyone lots of good. When I was going through a particularly painful adolescence, such non-fiction was what I sought help from. Therefore I recommend that if you mainly read for fun, you must from time to time switch to reading of some pure non-fiction too. A good book of famous quotes or something concerning religion or human psychology is not a bad way to begin your journey into the world of non-fiction. Do read for knowledge and information too, if you want to get the most out of reading.

Reading is a great imagination booster and it helps develop a sense of creativity in you. So whether you are looking for a new idea for the book you are planning to write or simply a fresh design for you wedding gown, all you need to do is read. That doesn't mean you would find your idea in that book or whatever it is you choose to read, but this exercise of losing yourself releases your creative reserves and gives a boost to your imagination thus enabling you to produce your very best. It will also help you develop better concentration which we need so bad at all times. When you are spinning a whole new world in your mind, you are actually creating something new with complete concentration and without much conscious effort. This develops in you one very significant trait of focusing.

But we must not forget that the merits associated with reading can only be taken advantage of when we read books of value. Reading trashy stuff, will only rob you of your precious time, money and energy giving you nothing of importance in return. John Ruskin aptly remarked, "Life being very short, and the quiet hours of it few, we ought to waste none of them in reading valueless books".

It's very tragic to see that many people, usually those who are not much into reading themselves, don't expose their children to the wonderful world of books. As a result, many kids would either do drugs or get into excessive drinking during their difficult adolescence. I am sure I would have done the same in my early teens had I been unaware of the pleasure of reading. Books would not only increase a child's knowledge of the world in general, it would always develop their imaginative faculties which is so very essential for the healthy mental growth of a child.

I agree that reading is like an infection which can be caught, not taught, but it is your responsibility as a parent to expose the kid to germs at least. Chances are they would catch the disease because their immunity system isn't all that strong at that age. Keep Galileo's words in mind, "You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him discover it within himself".

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