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The Importance of Reading Books

Books are the building blocks of a civilized society and nation. They contain the ideas which morally enlighten and intellectually strengthen us. The intellectuals and thinkers are not born; they are made in this world through their devotion to imbibing great thoughts and ideas from wherever they are found. Good Books are the sources of good and great ideas and should never be missed. According to Francis Bacon “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested” – the knowledge, idea and thought it contains, should be thoroughly enjoyed, learnt and assimilated. The books are not to be put on the shelves but to embellish the minds of the readers. Bacon starts his essay, “Of Studies,” with: “Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability”. The delight that an avid reader experiences while studying a book is indescribable. Words can never be sufficient to describe the joy of reading a thought-provoking book which is purely soulful.

Reading a quote or a paragraph on any subject, say love, family or society may also delight or enlighten us but it is difficult to cherish and preserve the idea learnt or memorized through such casual and short reading for long. Most of the time, such casual reading is of no help and, howsoever, the idea may be precious, it is likely to slip down from the memory in the hurly-burly of life. When we set a target to read a book within a set deadline, say a month or year, depending upon the size and content of the book we steadily internalise something enlightening and valuable that we are regularly connected with on routine basis. A good book has a lasting impact  on its reader. The more he reads it, the more he reflects on it and based on continuous process of reflection, he builds his philosophy, vision and thinking about life. It has been seen that voracious readers end up becoming very wise advisors for society and their relatives. Equipped with knowledge and ideas they are in a better position to discern and comprehend the crux of a particular problem and accordingly offer the piece of advice.

Not surprisingly, a voracious reader may turn out to be a rebel against the established rotten customs and traditions. The scholar, thinker and philosopher is awakened in him as  learns about new idea and things which convince him about the futility of the old regressive practices that he has assiduously followed all along due to lack of enlightenment. It is true that reading book is like an awakening process which jolts the conscience and the mind of the reader and thus makes a strong demand from him/her to think and initiate. Book reading should and does not make us lethargic and dull but actionable, and crusader for good causes. It should awaken us from inside and push us to take firm action against the social evils and superstitions.

 One of the most unique aspects of reading is that a voracious reader is also transformed into prolific writer. The vast reading opens new vistas for him triggering a chain of new thoughts which intellectually inspire him to express what he has felt during his absorption in the books.  History is replete with instances of great social reformers who were scholars and lovers of books, turning out to be great writer and the books which they penned became the major weapons in their fight against social evils. Mahtama Gandhi, Ishwar Chandra Vidhyasagar, Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Swami Vivekanand are some of the great philosophers who were guided by their readings and became torch bearers for the masses in our contemporary society.

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