Discover the world through books

Discover the world through books

“The journey of a lifetime starts with the turning of a page”

This quote by author Rachel Anders aptly explains the beauty and power of reading. However, it is a pity that people often realise this too late in their lives. The mistake of not realising this early on renders a life that is not fully and truly lived, in a manner of speaking.  
Reading starts as an activity, becomes a habit and then a part of one’s life. And through this never-ending journey of discovery, books will continue to be read, re-read and rediscovered.

The world of books takes one through happiness, solace, inspiration, joy, knowledge, content, hope, thrill and a sense of wonder like no other, as they transform the reader to different places, different spheres, introduces new people and opens doors to new ideas. And this is a journey that one needs to start off early in one’s life to experience true joy.

In a world that is increasingly more competitive and intense, as parents, one can often tend to consider leisure reading and any ‘non-academic’ reading as potential distraction. However, on a positive note, there is a visible growing trend among parents encouraging kids on their journeys of curiosity and not necessarily with the motive of ensuring their kids become more ‘intelligent’ or ‘smart’. The clear shift in encouraging kids to read books to enjoy and discover rather than towards any other academic end goal is definitely welcome news for the next knowledge generation.

This habit of discovery through the world of books is the best gift you can give to a child in the initial years of growing up. The benefits of encouraging reading as a hobby are manifold. Intellectually speaking, a person grows fastest during childhood, and reading stimulates that development. It is like an exercise for the brain — the more you use it, the more fit and alert you become. Benefits of vocabulary, knowledge, speed reading, comprehension, communication skills, concentration, and patience are just a few of the by-products of the process. Unleashing the child’s imagination helps in developing creativity. The sense of curiosity and thirst for knowledge which will develop at this stage will serve the child lifelong.

Skill of listening

An interesting way of building on this hobby in the kids’ formative years is by not going through the usual route of buying every book the child demands. Instead, use this as an opportunity to let the child to make new friends by joining book lending libraries. In return, the child learns the skill of listening, the art of sharing as she shares her stories and books while making new friends.

Make it a family affair to visit a library once a while. Kids learn the most from their parents and immediate seniors. Being a family that is supportive and indulgent of this hobby is the best way of encouraging the child to pick up book reading as a hobby. At the end of a long day, sitting with a book in your hand and kid on your lap is the most comfortable way to spend some quality time with your kid.

On a lighter note, as they grow older and learn to read on their own, you will appreciate the number of times you were saved from “I am getting bored”; “I want my own phone”; “I want to watch more TV” and “I want to play more video games” and countless other issues.

As Frank Serafini once said, “There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are children who have not found the right book.” So, find your child those books and libraries that will ignite the child’s mind to countless discoveries of the world around.

(The author is CEO, JustBooks Solutions, Bengaluru)

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