“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.”
— W. Somerset Maugham
All of us have heard in our lives that reading a book can take us to a different horizon or a parallel universe, where the imaginations of the writer are vividly captured by the reader. However, the larger question to dwell upon is, when in today’s world Facebook and Twitter have become the messengers of information and knowledge, why is it still important for us to read in conventional ways like we used to before this technological revolution? How does reading help one grow as an individual and most importantly how does the habit of reading shapes up the future of a student?
Warren Buffet devotes 80% of his daily routine to reading. Some might say he is a fairly successful person. The habit of reading is what differentiates an average person from the extraordinary. Reading habit has a multi-layered effect on the life of a student. It widens the horizon giving a novel perspective to the reader and makes them capable of looking at the same thing from different viewpoints. It liberates the mind and educates one against being judgmental. A reader does not look at anything in black and white, rather looks at the grey area where many explanations of a single event are possible.
Here is a list of qualities that a voracious reader inculcates over a period of time:
1. Phenomenal vocabulary: Books contain brilliantly curated words that leaves one spellbound. A good reader can engage with other people by expressing his/her thoughts effortlessly. The next time you meet a person who uses difficult words, you might want to ask about the number of books he/she has read in the recent past.
2. Knowledge is power: Books have such a motivating impact that they can empower even a physically weak person to the extent of making him the strongest person in the world. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi, it was not the physical strength but the mental strength that made him the Father of the Nation. Knowledge is an asset that cannot be stolen or taken away. It is reading that strengthens the mind to remain composed even under the adverse circumstances.
3. Career-oriented growth: Reading makes one more focused and coherent. It is all the more beneficial when you are reading something that can build your career. For example, if you want to be a public speaker, factual knowledge based on scientific data can help you come out with many useful arguments to support your viewpoint.
4. Memory workout: While reading a good book, it’s really easy to escape the real life and become absorbed in the events happening in the book. In some books, there is more than one narrative being told simultaneously and one needs to be proactive in memorizing the characters to understand the story. So, a good book is always an exercise of one’s brain.
Laurence Sterne has rightly said, “The desire for knowledge, like the thirst of riches, increases ever with the acquisition of it.” Picking up the right book can transform one’s life as our mind feed on the things we perceive. The perception, in turn, is created by what we read or hear.