Sunday, July 13, 2008

Reading: A dying hobby?

Reading is a habit that evolves from childhood. In the age of television, reading books is not as important as it once was. People can learn as much by watching TV as they can by reading books. Before the advent of the erstwhile cable TV. There were only 2 channels in India then, DD National and DD metro. Kids back then didn’t have too many distractions. Computers and Internet had not yet descended on the masses as they have today. Reading was a habit inculcated by many in their childhood. There was a lot of fun in discussing about Nancy Drew, Famous five, and Secret seven. Today after a full day at school, tuitions and then babysitters. Viewing any channel from NDTV to ESPN to even FTV the children have no time to discuss what’s in rather than discuss the intricacies of a book.

With the advent of so many channels, especially news channels in the foray we get up to date news and all information from TV itself, so what is the point in reading one might ask. Well, reading is like a hobby that one has to cultivate from an early age in life. It helps improve one’s thought process and also improves the person’s grasp of a language.

Nowadays nobody wants to learn any language thoroughly. You can grasp the language that you use for speaking directly from listening to radio or watching TV. But in order to catch the grammatical nitty-gritty’s of a language, one must sit back and read magazines and books with a good amount of concentration.

Let’s start by weighing the advantages of possessing good reading habits. For starters, it improves our speed of reading which is vital to many students as most competitive exams are for a span of 3 hours and having a really good speed of reading helps us like more than anything else.

Being a voracious reader another thing I have felt is that reading stretched one’s imagination. And reading inspires you to think like the author and try to guess what comes next in the novel.

Another aspect of reading is vocabulary improvement. We come across many words which we do not use in our day-to-day life in books. Having a good vocabulary is always an added advantage.

Reading as a hobby should never die. In this age of eBooks we rarely see people sitting and reading except for while traveling long hours in a bus or train.