When I tell people that I love to read, these are the reactions I get:
Just watch the movie/series instead!
Reading is boring
Books with no images? Thanks but no!
You should have bought a tablet instead of a kindle
Book fairs? Libraries? And you go there for fun?
Why would you want to read after finishing school/college?
Reading books continues to be a huge part of my life and they give me immense joy. I feel sad when people refuse to acknowledge the wonder of books. So today, I shall tell you what you are missing out on by not reading.
Reading gets a bad name because we associate reading with studying which is completely wrong. There are so many different types of books; textbooks are just one of many such types! You associate pain with reading because we were forced to read; to study in school and college and from there stems the idea that reading equals forced work. There are so many genres of fun, entertaining books that you can enjoy.
Imagination and Creativity
When the Harry Potter books came out, they were a huge success and each reader imagined how Harry looks. Each reader had a vivid depiction of their favorite wizard in their minds. When the movies came out, every single person saw Harry as Daniel Radcliffe. End of imagination.
Books describe everything in words but movies give you a visual depiction of everything. The problem to this is end of imagination, end of thinking. Book characters cannot be described in all flesh and blood. Or maybe they can, but the writers choose not to, otherwise the reader might get bored with too many details.
Therefore, each of us then has these gaps in descriptions and we fill up those gaps with what seems awesome to us. This way, what is cool to me would not be the same for you. This is why Godfather and The lord of the rings, despite being excellent movies, are less awesome compared to the books. If I hadn’t read the books, I would rate them a solid 5 on 5. But since I know the books are a perfect 5, the movies are 4. This is why the book is always better than the movie.
Reading boosts creativity while movies and TV often kill creativity since you don’t have to think at all.
Language and grammar
This is a given. Readers have excellent command over the language. So much so, they take up the unpaid job of Grammar Nazis (guilty as charged!)
I have never liked reading grammar textbooks and yet I have had good command over the language since I was a kid and did well in all English tests. This comes automatically when you read. Even if you don’t know the meaning of the word you just read, ignore it and continue reading. Eventually you get the meaning of that word because you understood the context. You didn’t even have to open up a dictionary!
If you have ever wanted to have greater command over any language, read good stories written in that language.
Empathy is such an important skill for everyone. Empathy is understanding the perspective of others by thinking from their standpoint. It is different from sympathy which is just feeling sorry for someone.
When you read a fiction novel, you are living the life of the characters in first person perspective. You feel their fears, you feel their joy and sorrows. Even if the character has a personality completely different from yours, you understand why they do what they do. You get them because you have seen the world from their eyes. This is completely absent from movies and TV.
For these reasons and many more, I urge you to pick up a book and start reading. Read anything that interests you. Pick up a book, read what’s on the back cover and decide if you want to read it. Every person is a reader, most people haven’t found their favorite book yet. Find your favorite book today! The book recommendation for this week is my favorite book of all time. Check it out, I’m sure you will love it too!
I have decided to make this blog bi-weekly now. Every Sunday at 11am IST, you’ll get the usual dose of inspiration and productivity and every Wednesday at 5pm IST, you’ll get to read an entertainment-focused article. It could be about books, music, movies, gaming, TV, gadgets, websites and lots more.
Book recommendation for this week:
The Alchemist is a magical fable that seeks to inspire readers to listen to their hearts and follow their dreams.
The Alchemist is a simple, yet powerful story about an Andalusian boy named Santiago. Santiago is a shepherd whose days are more or less spent tending to his sheep. He has a recurring dream in which a treasure awaits him at the Pyramids of Egypt. Believing the dream to be some kind of prophecy, Santiago approaches a gypsy in a neighboring town to ask for advice. The gypsy confirms that indeed such a treasure awaits him at the Pyramids.
From then on, Santiago begins his journey in search of the treasure, unaware of the experiences that lie ahead of him. At the start of his journey he meets an old man who claims to be a king. He tells Santiago to constantly look out for omens and learn to read them as signs from the universe.
Santiago’s quest takes him from his homeland Spain to the markets of Tangiers to the unforgiving sands of the Egyptian desert. He encounters a variety of characters that teach him lessons of faith, danger, disaster, opportunity, and love. He also meets an alchemist just as he was destined to, and learns a lot from him. The alchemist’s teachings initially create self-doubt in Santiago, but later they succeed in filling him with faith in himself, strengthening his determination to reach the pyramids to seek the treasure.
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Check out the entire list of book recommendations on top of the home page titled “Best books”. If you are on mobile devices, click on “Menu” on top of the home page and then “Best books”.
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