Reading has been one of the best hobbies since early time. Its benefits vary from person to person. To some it is a source of knowledge, while to others it provides pleasures. Some seek inspiration in it, at the same time it serves as a source of strength for a few people. It acts as a guiding force to some people. Reading is an act which directly stimulates the mind. Reading is to the mind what food is to the body.
During reading our sense organs are involved with it. In the process, the sense organs convey to the mind the feelings that arise as a result of reading. When such feelings are agreeable to mind, they serve as pleasure.
They relieve us of our tension and boredom. They remove our worries and instil in us a renewed energy which immensely helps in taking life with enthusiasm and vigour. Otherwise they are just the opposite. They become painful and boring.
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For reading the basic thing is script, i.e. something written. Without the script, we cannot even imagine this pleasure. Perhaps it is the only pleasure which cannot be enjoyed by those who are not literate. In other words, this can be possible only in the educated society.
An uneducated society which does not have a script can never think of the pleasure of reading. There was a time when the blind did not have the accessibility of this pleasure, but with the invention of the Braile script, this situation has changed for them. Now, they can read with the help of Braile. They can enjoy the benefit of reading.
There are varieties of reading materials. They include stories, dramas, plays, poems, comedies verses jokes, thrills, suspense, etc. The choice of reading materials differs from person to person. Some people enjoy reading poetry. To some, stories serve the purpose.
To them they act as a mirror of society in which they find reflections of society in which they live. Those who are of lighter vein enjoy comedies. Some people find jokes as a means to defuse tension. Thus, different reading materials serve differently to people of different choices and preferences. Reading is an excellent form of recreation.
Reading provides pleasure of learning new things. It is reading which supplies us with the knowledge of new things, new places, and new persons.
The accumulated knowledge of mankind is available in written and printed form. It is by reading that one can expose that vast hidden treasure of knowledge and experience and can benefit from it. By reading one can learn many things within a very short time. During an interview Lokmanya Tilak emphasised the importance of reading by saying that he was ready to reside even in hell if it could provide him with sufficient reading material and reading time.
Reading is an important source of knowledge and information. It opens up a whole new world before the reader. It enriches his knowledge and learning. It is by reading that one is able to have a complete knowledge of the story of the progress of human kind. The stories of the progress of human civilisation and culture are preserved in written form. Without reading one cannot have a detailed knowledge of them all.
Reading is a very good habit. The moral lesson that one gets during the course of reading is a great pleasure. It grooms personality. It shapes character. The benefits of pleasure received from reading are immeasurable. The habit of reading should be encouraged right from the childhood. They should be taught to develop reading habit. The habit developed at this tender age immensely helps in grooming one’s personality.
But in today’s fast-paced life, it is very difficult to manage time for reading. Besides, growing materialism has also contributed to the declining interest in reading. Moreover, the expansion of IT and growing TV culture have in a word, revolutionized the interest and hobbies of people. They have opened up a whole new world, vivid, exciting and fascinating, before them. Prevailing social and political condition are also responsible for this. They divert an attention from them. But for men of fine taste it has always been a source of immense pleasure.
A vast amount of money spent on private and public libraries are sufficient proof of the usefulness of books in man’s life. Books provide good companionship, which is easily available, enlightened, dependable and lifelong. The pleasure of reading lies in attaining a membership of the society which is noble, great and learned. This pleasure has its origin in mental powers and moral capabilities which are enhanced during reading.
Reading dispels our thoughts of gloom and serves us as a source of comfort, hopefulness and patience. It acts as rays of hope at the time of darkness and adversity. Great English poet Milton rightly says, “A good book is the precious life blood of a masterspirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.” When we go through the works of ancient personalities, like Shakespeare, Kalidas, Rousseau, Mahatma Gandhi, we allow the life blood of the author to flow into the channels of an understanding which grows brilliant and sharper. The pleasure that results is great and immense.
Despite myriad means of entertainment and recreation, books continue to enjoy the prominent position. They have been the source of pleasures since time immemorial. Like the seeds of flowers, these means of pleasure go on multiplying because they are produced by the teeming minds, which have the potentiality to revolutionise the society and guide the destiny of the people. No doubt the revolution in the field of recreation has caused a shift in interest and preference, but the pleasures gained from the reading of books is quite distinct. Hence, it cannot be substituted. It is a perennial source of joy.