“Reading” is the activity of perusing, skimming, going over, or poring over a book. The book may be of any genre, but “reading” provides great satisfaction. It is the act of construing, comprehending and perceiving the true meaning of the text. It is done for enjoyment and as a hobby. The text is made up of simple and often complex words which are a source of great satiety and magic for the reader. The selection of the books define us. They show who we really are. The true quirks and traits of a person can truly be understood by what he likes to read, as Mathew Kelly pointed out that,
“We become the books we read.”
Books are also a great source of pleasure and comfort. They wash away from our lives the constant monotony and bring excitement; they remove the dust of everyday life from our souls and replace it with thrill and exhilaration. They bring newness to the world and give us a chance to imagine better. The moment we open a book and start dwelling in its world, we feel as if everything around us has ceased to exist. Reading provides us the sole mode by which we slip unconsciously, involuntarily and often helplessly into another person’s soul and stumble into the world of his imagination where everything has been created by him. It transports us to new places, introduces us to amazing people who lived exciting lives, they move us to HOGWARTS with J.K.ROWLING, to NARNIA with C.S.LEWIS, to BAYPORT with FRANKLIN W.DIXON, to RIVERHEIGHTS with CAROLYNE KEENE, to MAGICAL FORESTS with ENID BLYTON and to the CENTRE OF THE EARTH with JULES VERNE. These places are more than often just a figment of the writer’s imagination but to a reader everything about them seems real, he wish that he can be transported to the world of his dreams and live the life he wishes to live. He can visit all these places while sitting on a comfortable couch by the fire along with an appetizing snack. At this moment he observes that there is no pleasure like reading and eating. And the best part is that the two of them can be combined comfortably. As Jane Austen declares that,
“There is no enjoyment like reading.”
We might not notice this but we actually live the stories we are reading, each character possesses a specific voice in our head along with an appropriate appearance. In the eye of our mind we see them moving and hear them talking while we read about them. A reader lives the lives of about a thousand people before he dies but non-reader lives a single boring and monotonous life.
Books are a unique source of portable magic which we can carry anywhere we want to. It helps us to enter blissful peace and assists us to learn and comprehend the secrets and hidden facts of the universe by giving our minds food for thought. Wherever we are, if we have a book with us we do not need any company. We can just sink into the pages and be really happy. As Elizabeth Scott observes that,
“I love books! I love that moment when you open one book and sink into it. You can escape from the world and sink into a story that’s way more interesting than yours will ever be.”
Reading is dreaming with open eyes. We do not have to necessarily believe in all the fiction and magic of the books we have to know that it’s not true. But it does create a world of fantasy which helps to broaden our vision and increase our imagination. Even Rowling says that,
‘I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe that something very magical can happen when you read a good book.’
Reading helps to builds our personality and develops important characters and traits. When we read about certain traits we learn to like and dislike them. We even try to apply them in our personal life. It helps to provide us with good manners, strengthen our vocabulary and increase our knowledge. We can receive important information when we read a good book. There are some acts which are never wasted and always help us in one way or another. Reading is one of them. Rowling instructs us to,
‘Read as much as you can. Nothing will help u as much as reading.’
When we step inside a library, the first thing we feel is the smell of old parchments, the fragrance of ink, we hear the rustle of paper and at this moment we believe that this scent of books is the best scent in the world. When we inhale deeply and browse through the different sections we experience a sense so magical that it can never be expressed in words, and magical does not merely mean supernatural or sorcerous but includes mystery, thrill, and contentment, which makes us feel wonderful and excited. When we close our eyes and simply touch a familiar book and draw its fragrance deep inside us, it is enough to make us happy and contented. Stephen King claims that,
‘Books are a uniquely portable magic.’
Reading is very necessary to keep us revived, fresh and invigorated. Reading is as necessary to mind as exercise is to our body. They revive us when we feel as if all doors of life are closed. They help us to escape our stresses and enter a new place, a different era. At these times we feel as if there is no friend as loyal as a book. We don’t need to confide all our secrets to it. Even then it can provide reassurance which is required very much. So, if we truly want to escape the world we open a book and use our imagination.
JK ROWLING asserts that,
“There is always room for a story that can transport people to another place”
If a person does not like to read books this mostly means that he has not yet found the right book to suit his taste and personality, as it is impossible for any knowledgeable person with good interests to dislike books, because good readers make much out of little and still find it short.
According to JANE AUSTEN,
“If a book is well written I always find it short”
Sometimes there are declarations truths and facts which cannot be explained in normal writing but a fictious book aptly explains them, with such subtlety that the reader hardly notices that he has understood them. And they become part of his life without his observing the change.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON insists that,
“Fiction reveals the truth that reality obscures”
We do not need to understand philosophy, learn a special skill or know an art to recognize a good book nor do we need to search hard for it, we know when we have a good book we become absorbed and totally engrossed in it. When we turn the last page and feel that we have lost a close friend. As if something very important has been eradicated, lost or removed. We feel a strange emptiness and hollowness inside us and we yearn for more. We know it is a good book when we learn to laugh and cry with it, which leaves us emotional for days and makes tears fall down our cheeks. Which makes us cry and feel joyful.
In short, a book a day keeps reality away. We should read good, interesting and useful literature which proves fruitful and helps us in our lives. But we should also exert caution and be careful. We should not read so much that our minds are boggled, thinking becomes clouded, our eyes become weak, we get to wear spectacles, our work is left pending and we become total BIBLIOBIBULIS (people who read too much)
BOOKS are keys to wisdom’s treasures
BOOKS are gates to lands of pleasures
BOOKS are paths that upward lead
BOOKS are friends, come let us read!