More you read, more you know

Book worm Reading is a great imagination booster and it helps develop a sense of  creativity. DH file photo

Reading opens doors to the other worlds and other minds. The written word it has been found, can change lives and it is literacy that liberates the mind. If a writer spins a good yarn it raises the level of interest in the reader. Whether you read for pleasure or to glean information, you are bound to benefit in one way or another, because fiction and non-fiction both offer the reader, a step into the world of books.

As a youngster, ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Bronte sparked my interest in reading. It could have been the smouldering personality of Heathcliffe, which imprinted itself on my young mind. Whatever it was, it was Emily’s creative skill of writing which drew me into the world of reading. Emily, according to history, came from an illiterate family, yet her father self taught himself, and built the Bronte siblings interest in reading.

Reading is a great imagination booster and it helps develop a sense of creativity in you. So whether you are looking for a new idea for the book you are planning to write or simply a fresh idea to refurbish your home, all you need to do is read.

That doesn't mean you would find your idea in that book or whatever it is you choose to read, but checking out anothers’ creativity could release your own creative reserves and gives a boost to your imagination, thus enabling you to produce something unique. So the reader becomes the book and the book becomes the reader.

Better concentration
Reading also helps one to develop better concentration which is important for a student. The brain is active all the time when we are awake, absorbing all that is happening around us. Reading helps the mind to enhance our skills of concentration and amazingly can achieve that, without much conscious effort. This develops in us the significant trait of focusing. For a student, the art of complete focus on the question posed in an exam and answering to the point, is of great importance. Reading develops that skill and happily will bring in better grades when the answer written by the student is focused and clearly answered.

Older scholars in universities in the UK have been anxious about the TV taking over any free time a young person might have. This has been proved unfounded. Yes digital games and the TV  have made huge inroads into young people’s time, but repetitive gaming does tend to become boring after a while.

Potter mania
Thanks to authors like J K Rowling, the 21st century has seen a whole new wave of new readers, from the younger generation. Books like Harry Potter, take you by the hand and lead you into a fantasy land and an incredible journey of excitement, which video games cannot.

Rowling also uses a style of writing which is not with just a child in mind, but also caters to adults. Book sales have never looked so good after she spun her first tale about Harry Potter, which readers say a movie cannot replicate.

In a BBC programme which I recently viewed, it was found that the power of reading is also healing to the mind, as proved by researchers working with mentally traumatised individuals. These individuals have been willing to engage with the text and have been able to experience the liberating power of the word. Reading books of poems, uplifting stories, according to these researchers, have helped much better than any antidepressant. By these tests it has been proved that words packaged into books, have an electrifying effect on the brain. 

So kick-start a reading habit today, if you do not have one already. The benefits of reading are immeasurable and as Victor Hugo said: “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.”

And Dr Seuss in I can Read with my Eyes Shut said: “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” And finally Roald Dahl in Charlie and Chocolate Factory implores: “So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall!”
Marianne de Nazareth

(The writer is adjunct faculty at St Joseph's College, Christ University and COMMITS.)

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