Nurturing a love for books

Nurturing a love for books

Nurturing a love for books

A typical day in a contemporary student's life is chock-a-block with activities. When the day ends at school or college, it is the beginning of a fresh set of programmes that the students are enrolled in. From sports to developing skills such as dance, painting and music, and gaining additional expertise in the math and the sciences, a student is running helter-skelter and is dead on his or her feet when it is time to call it a day!

Any little time he or she can steal in the middle of all this chaos is spent on the smartphone. With this scenario, several fruitful hobbies that the students of the previous generations indulged in have taken a beating, the foremost being the habit of reading. But as Confucius rightly said, "No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or
surrender yourself to self-chosen
ignorance."

Many benefits

It has been proven by various studies that students benefit immensely when they read a variety of books. Critical thinking, creativity and finding inspiration are some of the many benefits that reading can offer. Other benefits include:

Increased cognition: Reading aids and enhances cognition. This is because while reading, the brain is wholly focused on the subject matter.

Wider knowledge: Books also enhance the reader's knowledge. Any good book is packed with several facts woven around the story line.

Improved memory: Reading is a mentally stimulating exercise that helps in developing better memory.

Better vocabulary: Reading books helps students improve their vocabulary. What's more, the meaning of a word can be deciphered from its context.

Enriching writing skills: A good style of writing is often a result of voracious reading. Thus, reading paves the way for enriched writing skills.

Broadens imagination and creativity: Reading broadens the imagination of the reader as the words being read are simultaneously converted into images in the mind of the reader. This, in turn, can work wonders on the reader's creativity and make one inventive.

Students can reap many of these benefits by simply reading books from a variety of genres such as mystery, fantasy, autobiography and self-help. Doing so can help students widen their perspective and gain insights into their areas of interest. It is in this context that parents and teachers can guide them to relevant books that can enable students to gain further insights into their areas of interest. As a result, the chances that students will take to reading in their spare time are very high. Additionally, encouraging students to read books from less popular genres will go a long way in providing insights into some lesser-discussed areas.

Traits such as respect, honesty, hard work, fairness and empathy are significant personality qualities needed in good upbringing of children. However, these qualities are not given the due significance they deserve.

Besides, life skills such as self-confidence, good communication, pleasant etiquette, courtesy, temperate disposition, ability to work as a team, tolerance and tact, self-control and concern for fellow human beings deserve to be spoken about. Though some or all of these skills lie deep within every child's personality, they need to be tapped. Introducing students to books that highlight some of these desired skills and qualities is a significant step in this process.

It must be remembered that adolescence is an intriguing period in the life of a person. Though a child gains understanding and knowledge, this phase leaves the child confounded between right and wrong, obedience and rebellion, responsibility and waywardness.

Against such a background, adolescents turn defiant and in the absence of an absorbing habit, much of their focus gets lost. It is precisely for these reasons that one must encourage children to turn to books as these will not only keep students engaged but will also instil in them the habit of turning to books for knowledge, entertainment, enlightenment and insights.

Cultivating the habit

Book racks across the world are filled with a variety of fascinating books for students. Most students are not reading merely because they have not experienced the charm of the written word. As the practice of bestsellers being converted into movies is in vogue, students prefer to watch the movie versions to reading the hard copies. Yet, if they can be encouraged into reading the books, they will soon unravel the joys and benefits of reading.

Some must-reads that students can turn to are Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, J K Rowling's Harry Potter series, Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle, Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series and Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series. A good book to have with you is The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make by Sean Covey. Through this book, Covey guides youngsters to make the right choices regarding the six most crucial areas they may have to tackle in their growing up years. Reading such books can help young people create positive changes in their lives.

With reading, there are no limits as to how much you can learn and become. So, pick up a good book, sit back and let the pleasures of reading unfurl.

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