The importance of reading
Reading has at all times and in all ages been a source of knowledge, of happiness, of pleasure and even moral courage. In today's world with so much more to know and to learn and also the need for a conscious effort to conquer the divisive forces, the importance of reading has increased. In the olden days if reading was not cultivated or encouraged, there was a substitute for it in the religious sermon and in the oral tradition. The practice of telling stories at bed time compensated to some extent for the lack of reading. In the nineteenth century Victorian households used to get together for an hour or so in the evenings and listen to books being read aloud. But today we not only read, we also want to read more and more and catch up with the events taking place around us. The various courses and classes being conducted in rapid reading support this belief.
The amount of reading one should get through is of course nobody's business. There is no end to it for there is a variety of subjects to read about. The daily newspaper or the popular magazine while it discusses topical issues and raised controversies, it also provokes thought and throws light on human nature. It brings the news of wars, rebellions, organizations, political stances, heroic deeds etc., together and helps knit a world of some sort. There is then the serious reading undertaken for research and for satisfying one's longing for knowledge. It may be a subject of scientific significance, or a subject of historic or philosophic importance - varying according to the taste of the person. This kind of reading disciplines the mind and trains one for critical and original thinking. There is yet another kind of reading -reading for pleasure. Though serious reading is also a source of pleasure, reading which is devoted mainly to it differs in one respect. It grows upon one, it gives before demanding and it soothes and relieves tension and loneliness. The only kind of reading...
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