“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.”Francis Bacon Of Studies
Since our childhood we have been advised to read as much as possible. Successful personalities like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, etc read a certain number of books per week. Knowledge is power is another axiom we grew up with.
As a student we often think about why we have to study poems, dramas, essays, etc. when we may not even use that in our profession. English is a subject for which we prepare just a day before the exam. We should try to understand that the school curriculum is structured in a way that the students can get an introduction to major mediums of literature and expression.
Poems are considered to be the most purest form of expression of human emotion. Aurobindo Ghosh, writer and philosopher, calls poetry as the harmony of oneness of the creation with the creator. It is true that when one is cathartic, the emotions masquerade in words not of prose but of poetry. The dramas, generally of William Shakespeare, are introduced to reflect upon the fact that the society is still stuck in the past traditions and affectations that were prevalent during the 16th century.
The short stories are like adventure and experience compressed in short. The fun in reading comes when the reader is adopting a learner’s perspective. India has various state education boards which include regional literature. This puts us at an advantage to know more about society and how it works. Apart from curriculum, we can always read educational magazines, student-oriented newspapers, blog articles, novels or books of our preferred genres.
Each genre activates a different faculty of mind. Reading or rather solving puzzles sharpen our critical analysis, core literary works enhance our expression, empathy and sensitivity towards issues of society. Reading boosts memory, increases our storehouse of knowledge (obviously!), makes us feel calm and composed. People have started to avoid reading books and look for quick-read-summaries.
They restrain from going into the depth of the text and analysing it with an open mind. Some even consider it an addition to the daily burden of chores and a non-essential activity. This temperament arises from the opinion that reading is a “task/chore”. In reality, reading should be more like a regular habit. Only then can reading improve logic and reasoning, help in improving focus and form a medium of cheap entertainment also.
There are many websites which offer free online reading or books to buy at cheaper costs, like, Thrift Books, Gutenberg Project, Many Books, etc. E-reading devices have been developed for avid readers who wish to carry their library with them wherever they go. Reading is a vicarious experience in a parallel world of letters where anything imaginable is possible. Hence, reading is an essential life changing activity which should be encouraged for better guidance of the mind.