July 3, 2009

Where has it disappeared?

I met one of my students in the train the other day. He was reading The white tiger. It is a rare sight these days to see someone as young as him (probably in his late teens) reading a book, leave aside reading something like the one he was. Reading, as important as it is, is increasingly becoming a rare habit that the younger lot is relishing. With television, games and internet to lure them, a relatively boring activity like reading is getting ignored. Yet, it is supremely important, perhaps more than anything else. A person who enjoys reading can spend an entire life-time doing just that and still adding value to herself as each day she goes through the pages of any good book. The school surely has a lot to do when it comes to inculcating reading as a habit. So does the parents and mentors of the child. Somewhere, the rat race for marks and grades is killing this beautiful aspect of child development. What is left are those rare ones who develop this habit somehow and sticks to it.

I love suggesting reading to anyone who appreciates suggestions! Be it my studens or friends. For, it is needed. In a typical batch where I teach, the response to my question about how many of them actively read books beyond their academic syllabi is not very encouraging. I am talking of an above average batch of students pursuing Chartered Accountancy. Sure, there are few who are avid readers. Yet there are many who are not. And the difference shows up sooner or later. Be it in the number of mistakes they make while they converse in English, be it the language they produce in their writings or even in the basic confidence level they exhibit while communicating. For all this to be good, grip over language and its usage is necessary. And I do not know of any better way of developing these skills than by reading a lot.

Reading gives you perspective. It makes you think about aspects you would not have thought of otherwise. It takes you to a world you would not have traveled otherwise. Books, by reading them, have the power to change you for the better. In thoughts and actions likewise.

I'm glad I love to read. I could survive happily by doing only that. One of the dream lives for me is having enough money to buy any book I wish to and spend all the time I have reading. Whatever grasp I have over language and writing is all due to the reading I could manage over the years. It defines a large part of what I am today.

Please do whatever you can to make a child take into reading. You never know how it transforms the child into an excellent human being and a person to look upto. It is probably the best gift we could give to a child and the generation that follows us.


LIFE said...

Sir, its true that its very important to read.........but sometimes its very difficult to manage the time we have.....the book i start reading takes ages to complete....i hope that reading at that pace brings about the +ve changes you have mentioned....:)

Someone, u no ;) said...

very well said, don't know how? but unknowingly from last few weeks I have started reading books out of my syllabus and can definately make out the difference in me which you are talking about. In last two weeks I read 3 books mostly which I have herd of like The Monk who sold his Ferrari, The saint the surfer and the CEO, and recently reading The White Tiger, I am yet to finish it. Whenever we don't have classes on Sat. I go to C.S.T. and fetch for good books mostly which are suggested by you or any other teacher.
Really, reading is a very fabulous activity I read when I am in train, instead of wasting time in sleeping or listening to the gossips going around I think reading is a much better option, it really changes us as a humanbeing.
Would like if you can suggest some good books which you have read and think that it can help us as well.
Thanks for telling us that how you got such a superb command over English, I use to always wonder about it.
Very nice post, infact this one is really superb :)

Mandar Deodhar said...

I also love to read ... but my choice of books is different - its completely knowledge oriented. I haven't sold any of my engineering book .. I just love to read them again n again. Every time I visit any airport, I spend some time to go through the book stall.
Apart from reading books, reading blogs is also fun. Especially like this one :)

nice_n_funny said...

Forget about books, I don't find youngsters reading newspapers. Reading as a matter of habit is just not being cultivated. I totally agree with the fact, that reading improves your oratary and grammar skills. But it has also to be said here,that I cultivated the habbit of reading, looking at my dad. He used to spend about an hour on his newspapers daily. I followed him. But today my kid does not see me reading. Reasons and excuses for each of us may vary, but the fact is our kids rarely see us spending times with books and newspapers. So where are they going to learn fron, if not from us. So it is also our responsibility to generate a liking for books, in the young minds. So let us all start reading that book, we always planned to read, today.