Joy of Reading

JOY OF READING
How many of us read today? The little time we have is spent with the electronic media. We may think of reading when we have more time. But what we fail to understand is that we are missing one of the greatest pleasures of life if we have not learnt the art of reading for enjoyment.
Are the works written originally for public entertainment in any way the private property of English professors? Or are they exclusive to any other group of self-constituted guardians of the Muse? Not at all… The bulk of what generally passes as ‘literature’ belongs to the people for whose pleasure it was surely created. No doubt, we are living in an age of commercialized ambition and regimented thinking. Yet we can feel proud to be a dilettante, at least where books are concerned.
The true friends of literature are those who manufacture story books and books of poems with the noble intention of giving pleasure to others, and also are those who buy and read such books with the view of giving pleasure to themselves.
Numerous are the uses of reading in this practical age. One may read to gain mastery of a trade or to fritter away one’s spare time. Another may read to forget his worries. Yet another to experience vicarious chills and thrills. There are also many others who read to acquire the so called culture. But reading for enjoyment is of a different activity – it is the pleasurable exercise of the human psyche.
Men and women who have a passion for reading will sooner or later come unexpectedly upon some books that have been written surely for him. Who is to say what the volume may be? It may be Tolstoy’s ‘Anna Karenina’ or Stefan Zweig’s ‘Letter from an Unknown woman’ or Sri Aurobindo’s ‘Life Divine’ or Gibran’s ‘Tears and Laughter’. Whatever it is, whenever or wherever it is found, one thing is certain. : its discovery will be heralded by the conscientious reader as an occasion for great rejoicing. The intrinsic value of literature is realized only at that time.
Good books not only reflect and reveal but also interpret human character, beliefs and behaviour. With the aid of good books, we may see not only into the remote past of our ancestors but also into the remote regions of the world today. Reading helps us in increasing our understanding of humanity and thus assuring peaceful if not endearing relationships in society.
P. RAJA

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