READING – IT IS A FLIGHT YOU CAN’T MISS
All of us have to compulsorily learn to read and write, right from day one of our school life and through college, before we are ready for a career. Of course, all this reading is restricted to the knowledge contained in the prescribed text books for various classes.
Reading beyond text books normally happens after we complete our studies. Here again, it all depends on several parameters – mainly the interest to read, availability of time, cost of books, variety of books etc. Because of rapid developments in technology and the life-style associated with that, as far as information is concerned, today there are hosts of tools e.g. Computers, TV, mobile, newspapers and so on for gathering knowledge. Even if you restrict yourself to these media for knowledge and learning, there is today an ‘Information tsunami’, and one finds an increasing demand on his time to keep abreast with what is happening the world over. Looking at emails, face book, tweets all eat away a significant chunk of our time. And yet, reading books is an altogether different experience.
According to a survey by NBT-NCAER on reading habits, 1/4th of literate youth at all India level read books other than text books. The proportion of leisure readers is higher I’n urban India (31.2 per cent) compared to rural India (21.3 per cent – only 1/5th of them are able to read books. The performance of North-East states is much superior, 67 per cent , followed by Assam 41 per cent and Maharashtra 34 per cent. 43 per cent of youth in NE states are readers. As more and more people become literate and more and more people realize the importance of reading and the benefits to be derived, these figures could increase.
When you read something, you know, if you read again you understand, if you read again, you remember and if you read again you enjoy too. Reading bestows several benefits to those who read. Those who are habituated to reading should be familiar with the benefits one can derive from reading.
What READ means
The letters I’n the word READ aptly convey the benefits of reading, as can be seen below.
The letter R denotes Refreshment and relaxation for the mind. ‘Finding an active literary life can make you more personally effective by keeping you relaxed and improving health. For stressed executives reading is the best way to relax, as reading for six minutes can reduce stress by 68 per cent’, says John Coleman.
E denotes education, knowledge, enlightenment . If you want to be well educated and knowledgeable and enlightened, reading helps you a lot and is a must. Reading can be entertaining too, particularly for kids.
A denotes awareness, and advancement in knowledge. Unless you read about some matter, you will not come to be aware of the contents and by reading a variety of books, reports etc. you gain advancement in knowledge about various subjects, since there are developments taking place every minute, in all fields of activity.
D denotes development and growth of the individual. If you want development and growth in your career and life, reading and, continuous reading, is a must. Great people owe their development and growth to reading. Robin Sharma talks of the greatness of a person being judged by the library he keeps. This means you have to read books on a variety of interests and subjects. Also quantitative and qualitative aspects matter a lot.
Writer – a good reader
A good writer is generally a good reader, which can easily be assessed from his writings. I’n an article I’n HBR, Ian McEwan says he became a writer by ‘being a reader’. His parents who left school at 14, insisted on weekly family visits to the library when he was a child and sent him to a boarding school where he discovered Iris Mudrech and Graham Grove. He went on to become a good writer.
Reading makes leaders
In an article titled ‘For those who want to lead, read’, John Coleman says, ‘ The leadership benefits of reading are wide-ranging. Evidence suggests that reading can improve intelligence and lead to innovation and insight. Some studies have shown, for example, that reading makes you smarter through ‘larger vocabulary reasoning world knowledge, I’n addition to the abstract reasoning skills. Reading……is one of the quickest ways to acquire and assimilate more Information. Many business people claim that reading across fields is good for creativity.’
All the above point out the need for making reading a habit, a way of life to ensure that you stay tuned to what is happening around the world, and keep yourself updated I’n terms of knowledge which is vast and ever expanding.
To quote Prof. A.C. Graying, ‘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 experiences and the fruits of many inquiries. Reading is really like taking a flight to great heights in pursuit of knowledge.’ Make sure, you don’t miss this wonderful flight.