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Are We Losing The Art Of Reading?

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By Jhalak Agarwal:

There was a time when people used to love reading books and they used to read books only for their own pleasure. Can we say that this is still true? In the present time when life is moving at such a fast pace, how will people have the time to read books? Books are not the only pastime left anymore. They have evolved many new hobbies that have substituted reading in some way or the other. The art of reading seems to be lost somewhere.

Readingwoman

Books have always been a medium by which we escape the reality and go into a fantasy world where we are not burdened by responsibilities and where we can do as we please. They take us to a magical place which can be a fairy-tale, a story full of ghosts or a wartime epic. There are no boundaries and no right or wrong in books. We get to take our pick about the kind of story we want to get into. We can relive the Ramayana or Mahabharata through the books anytime we want.

But if we want to get into the story of a book, we need a lot of patience and focus which we seem to be losing these days. We keep running after our life and just don’t get the time to calm down and relax even for a bit. We seem to be losing the art of reading as we have found alternatives for it. Rather than reading books like Harry Potter, we prefer to watch the movie instead. We can’t seem to invest the time that a book will take and try to look for alternatives if we can find any.

Also, a very interesting thing that has come up in the recent times is the way people try to fake cultural literacy. Many people just act like they read a lot of books in order to fit in with their peers and they feel like they will not be considered smart if anyone found out that they don’t read books. People don’t want to feel left out of conversations. To avoid such a situation, they just read about the book that seems to be the hot topic so that they can be a part of the conversation when their friends talk about it. Instead of investing the time to actually read that book, they just read the summary or the review to be able to talk about it.

Books are for your pleasure and to increase your knowledge. But this way, you learn nothing. You are just trying really hard to gain the acceptance of your peers and for that one should know that faking cultural literacy isn’t going to do the trick. This isn’t restricted to mere books. The same thing goes for TV series as well as sports. Well, with the Football World Cup going on, every moment there is an update by someone or the other about the score. How many of us actually watch and enjoy it? Some of us just want to prove to the others that we watch sports too and we are into football too. Is this really required? Can’t we just pretend to like the things we actually like?

Somewhere down the line, we have lost our commitment to these hard pages that we so eagerly used to stare at. There was a time when we used to grasp every single word of the book we used to read. Now, we just want to rush through the book so that we can get to the end and get it over with. This should not be our reason to read a book. We should read the book to enjoy it and to cherish it. We have these huge piles of books that we like to collect even if we read them or not. We think that they probably reflect our intelligence level but we must realize that a book has no value when it is just kept on your shelf. But a book becomes invaluable as soon as one reads it. One cannot put a price on knowledge or pleasure that is attained after reading a book.

It’s time for us to wonder whether pretending to have read a book is actually of any help or does it have no importance at all. Reading is an art. We must try to focus on giving ourselves entirely to the story that we are reading. We must become a part of Hogwarts while reading Harry Potter and we must be a part of Westeros while reading Game of Thrones. But this will be possible when we sit down and actually read the entire series rather than just reading about it on the internet to blend in with the others who seem to actually like it and read it.

You must be to comment.
  1. vaishnavi

    It’s really so nice……………

  2. Gaurav

    reading a book is like having a conversation with some of the best people on earth. all of us should read plato, spinoza, socrates aristotle, rousseau

  3. puru tyagi

    Dear author, where did you copy the article from? Homework assignment of a student in middle school? Sure seems like it!

  4. Soumya Bhattacharya

    I appreciate the above article because it lucidly unfolds the fact that today people who just pretends being a bibliophile does not experience the absorbed feeling while reading the book. I have seen a slew of persons who just feigns that they have read the current books but when there is any conversation about what side of the book they like or any underlying facts of the book they just shatter. I think if one is a real book-aficionado then he should have engrossed into the book and have the experience of the taste of the book. I would like to quote from famous author Mr. Dan Brown , he says ” A good book should not have the ability to persuade you but it should have the ability to engage you into the book”.

  5. Ridhi

    I agree to the fact that one of the main reasons why most people don’t read these days is because of their lack of patience. It takes time to sit down and read a book patiently. But somewhere, this patience needs to be developed in a person right since childhood. It’s a habit that parents and teachers must help the young ones to develop. Take them to a library on a Sunday and read to them, rather than taking them to a theme park! When you set the right examples, they’ll develop the right habits.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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