Reading is a welcome escape from the dullness of daily routine. It is an excellent recreation which rich and poor alike can afford as most books are not very costly. Moreover in these days the large number of public libraries makes reading cheaper and easier than ever before. A man who has developed a taste for reading asks nothing more of life if, besides the means of physical well-being, he is provided with books and the leisure to read them. Mathematics, Scientific theories, doctrines of Philosophy and Social Science like Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology and Economics are taxing the brain but reading of newspapers, history , biography, accounts of travel and exploration, drama, verse and above all, fiction, is a source of keen delight. Millions of men and women nowadays find a delight in reading and learning the lessons for life from them.
National book festival in The United States of America is held on September 24-25 on the National Mall.
Every genre of reading has its own pleasure. I mean every category of subjects or even each subject has a delight, happiness and enjoyment of its own. Literature has its own amusement, Science and Science Fiction keep other kind of pleasure. Social Science give other type of pleasure. Every subject has some attraction. It is up to you in which subject you are more interested and which subject gives you more pleasure and happiness than the others.
Reading books gives us a peace of mind, satisfaction, courage and confidence. It also gives us happiness and makes us a learned person. An habitual reader of books becomes an intelligent person. He knows more than the others about this world. Books have many new ideas, notions and arguments, so the reader can solve his or her problems in a better way than the others. Books give us food for thought. Bacon has correctly said that some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
Social Science gives the knowledge of human society to the reader. Sociology tells how the human society is constructed? What are the basic pillars of human society? What are the social groups, ethnic groups and cultural groups in society? What is the role of religion in human society? What is meant by State? What are the organs of the state? What are the institutions which control and affect human society? What are the connection, association, relation and concern between an individual and rest of the society? How social groups interact with each other?
Anthropology gives the guidance about humans and society. It tells the reader correlation between indigenous people in remote locations of the world. The origin of Civilization, the development of different conventions, customs, folklore and especially the development of culture, religious belief systems and language are discussed in Anthropology . Economics reveals to the reader the concepts about money, market, banking and the relationship of demand and supply. What are the causes of price hike and what are the prices and wages mechanism? It tells how sustainable economic development can be achieved for the country?
On the other hand reading Natural Sciences develops another kind of taste, the taste of scientific reasoning, experimentation, empirical methods of science and curiosity. Natural Science tells about the laws of universe, the laws of nature, which governs this universe. Biology describes how genetics effects on next upcoming generations and about the evolution of different species. Whereas Chemistry narrates chemical reactions between different elements and compounds which make new things and new substances? Physics discloses the relationship of matter and energy, electricity, laws of motion and the basic particles which are the building blocks of this universe. These all are natural sciences.
The quantity and variety of reading material available to us are really enormous. There are books of all kinds. Books discussing topical matters, books on romance, love, sex and marriage, books on self-improvement and personal management, books on health and hygiene and books of personalities of the times, as well as purely literature books including drama, poetry, prose and fiction provide the reader knowledge and life experiences of the other people. The variety and number of magazines and periodicals are equally amazing. Story magazines, picture magazines, film journals. Literary periodicals, magazines on fashions in dress and hair style, political magazines, there is no end to them. Each of these types has its admiring readers who would rather miss a meal than their favorite weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
Now we will analyze the cause of the pleasure which results from reading the printed matter that we buy from the book stalls or borrow from the circulating libraries. We may begin with fiction since it makes the widest appeal to its readers. The story is so skillfully told lays a spell upon us. We unconsciously identify ourselves with each of the character of the story, especially the hero and the heroine; their experiences seem our own. What a keen and exquisite pleasure they give. The novels of Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, Alexander Dumas, Arnold Bennett, Jane Austin and George Eliot are an unfailing source of such pleasure. But if we have no time or patience for reading long novels, we can turn to the short stories of such writers Guy de Maupassant (French Short Story writer), Bret Hart, Stevenson, Edgar Allan Poe and O. Henry.
Drama is another source of great pleasure. The plays of Shakespeare, Galsworthy, Bernard Shaw and Eugene O’Neil have countless readers. The fun and humor of Shakespeare’s plays, the witty dialogue of Shaw’s works, the intense tragic note of O’Neil’s dramas and the introspective drama of Henrik Ibsen are the secret of appeal of these writers.
Poetry can provide the richest satisfaction of all. It is the purest form of literature and its rhythm, melody and music give it an additional charm. The lyric flights of Shelley, the sensuousness style of John Keats, the lavish and colorful imagery of Tennyson, the imaginative intensity of Coleridge, the beautiful natural description of Wordsworth all these enchant the reader. The very diction of poets like Rossetti, Bridges and Arnold has a great appeal. Then there are newspapers and periodicals. Every educated man in these days is hungry for news on the latest developments in the political sphere. A newspaper is, indeed an essential item of the breakfast table. Illustrated weeklies and pictorial magazines are an excellent pastime. Magazines contain romantic, adventurous and detective stories that hold us spell-bound. Fashion and film magazines are light reading and have an almost universal appeal.
The great variety of reading matters makes it possible for men of all the tastes and temperaments to draw pleasure from it. For the serious and reflective type of reader there is plenty of tragic and sentimental literature. For one of lively temperament there is a rich store of comedies, amusing episodes, witty dialogues, humor skits and tit-bits. For those more interested in actual life there are countries biographies, auto-biographies, histories and daily newspapers. Indeed the pleasure of reading should not be missed by any educated person; everyone ought to cultivate the reading habit. Reading lifts us out of our personal circumstances. We can forget our private worries and anxieties, fears and responsibilities while reading an interesting book. Whether we are journeying by train, or we are sitting in a park, or we are at home, reading is an excellent recreation.
Quotes and Sayings: –
(1) “A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.” – Abraham Lincoln
(2)“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.” – A C Grayling, Financial Times (in a review of A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel)
(3) “Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.” – Angela Carter
(4) “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” Margaret Fuller
(5) “A home without books is a body without soul.” Marcus Tullius Cicero
(6) “I cannot live without books!” Thomas Jefferson
(7) “You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.” Paul Sweeney
(8) “Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” Adler, Mortimer J
(9) “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Sir Richard Steele
(10) “If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing.” Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)