Books: Things Of Beauty, Now Antiquated

Posted on June 26, 2012 in Specials

By Pallavi Dani:

It is the age of instant gratification and somewhat same is the scenario in the realm of acquiring knowledge. And the powerhouse of knowledge I am referring to is? Not social network, definitely not our very popular/infamous television soaps. But something more worthy- the chronicles of our evolution, Books.

With the rising popularity of internet, there has been a major shift in the reading habits of people. Books are slowly becoming obsolete and e-books are fast gaining popularity. Libraries are getting forgotten and Google is being lauded as the one stop solution for all encompassing information.

Even though we have gained wider access to the works of great thinkers and writers of all time, hardly anyone takes the time from the monotonous daily routine to utilise this opportunity. Barring serious readers, the prevalent culture is to search for a specific answer or jump straight for the summary; be it an 8th grade homework or a scholarly thesis.

The condition of kids today is no better. Spending lazy afternoons during childhood, lying on the couch reading our favourite storybooks has become a thing of the past. Discovering our much-loved authors in Enid Blyton, Carolyn Keene, and Arthur Conan Doyle etc. used to be the biggest joy in our lives. Parents now would be happy if their videogame-obsessed child would so much as touch a comic strip. At this rate it can only lead to a population lacking in thinking prowess and ingenuity. The power of reading is amazing. It opens up your mind to great ideas, can transport you to a completely new world and most importantly, inspires you to think beyond the idea of reality.

The habit of reading needs to be inculcated early in every child or we might end up losing a vast knowledge base collected over centuries. India needs to encourage good writers instead of driving talents out of the country on ‘moral’ grounds. Unless we would like to see great works of literature adorning the walls of a museum, it’s time to take action, it’s time to re-start reading.