Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 24th, 2020

Book Reading

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Book Reading

Whenever I read a story book, I feel the same joy that I had felt when I read such stories in my childhood. Childhood or early teen ages are the precious periods of one's life as he or she doesn't think about those things that fill the life of a mature person with worries and concerns. I remember, I used to buy small story books from a bookseller, went on the roof of the house and read it there.

The stories usually had a hero who wanted to escape the bullies or bandits or contained the adventures of a detective or an adventurer and so on. Mind and soul of a person used to get fully soaked in the story and one felt himself being present in the battlefield or working with the detective or running away with the hero of the story and returned to the real world when called upon by mother or siblings to come down and join the dinner or do any other errand.

No doubt, the joys that one draws from stories cannot be alternated by any other hobby or activity and a person feels the same joy whenever he experiences the environment similar to that of the childhood days. Even today, when I go up to the roof and sit in the cold evening of summer at the same place, I feel the joy that I had drawn from reading in my childhood or teenage.

Modern psychology says that one needs to find a hobby and it is the desire of every individual's mind and body. No one can claim that he doesn't have any hobby or interest in anything. According to your mental and physical capabilities, you choose a hobby for yourself or you feel yourself to be drawing satisfaction from a certain activity and your consistent interaction with this activity turns it to be your hobby. Hobbies can be mostly positive but if not controlled, one might fall into a company and adopt the hobby of the company, be it positive or negative.

Of the positive hobbies, some make you physically active like football and other sports. Some are there that expand your thinking caliber and make your thoughts more rich and mature. Of these, most important is the book reading that has innumerable blessings and benefits.

Unfortunately, we were never able to establish a good network of libraries and other reading facilities, otherwise, we could have emerged as much mature and civilized nation. In our society, very less people read books and those who read, face difficulties in buying very expensive books and also from their fellow citizens who take it as something odd. Japan, being a small nation living in a country with limited physical possibilities, has emerged as the third biggest economy of the world mostly because of the book reading habit.

Usually an example is quoted of this nation that when one gets into a train and he doesn't have a book in his hand to read, he feels himself a complete fool as everyone except him on the train is found to have opened a book and busy in reading. Even to a short distance of 5 minutes, they don't waste the opportunity to read some pages of a book.

Books bring to you numerous surprising information and pleasures. You can get all the ideas of an author in just few days by reading his books that he nurtured and developed after pondering for many golden years of his life.

You can sit at home and travel to the historic sites and see with the eyes of your heart all the cities and towns of the world and meet the people of different cultures, languages and customs. You can come through the ideas that might open new horizons of thinking to your brain and might leave eternal spots of feelings on your heart. A great and impressive quotation might make you smile with admiration while the life story of a great person might give you a new spirit to march towards the success of your life. Many of the lessons that you could have never learnt without much sufferings can be learnt by turning the pages of the book.

Book reading is a gradual and always-improving process that cannot be attained by any artificial effort. Some people say that when they sit to read and open the book, they feel complete darkness and cannot read easily. Others are of the view that they want to read those beneficial and thought-provoking books that might change their thoughts but soon feel tired and feel that they are unable to digest the contents of it.

Book reading always starts with fun or amusement reading in which we read short stories or other interesting things and our sole purpose is to draw pleasure out of it. Then our mind becomes a bit mature and advance to novels or a bit longer stories.

There we might include humor, light poetry and travel tales. After this stage is conquered, we move to the next stage when we read about informative books and in the end we come to philosophy, psychology and other difficult grounds. If one wants to start directly from philosophy or psychology in the first stage, he might soon end his endeavor, tired and exhausted. It was the reason why a scholar has said that no book is useless and no knowledge is irrelevant and a book makes a ground for the following difficult book to be read.

However, it is another issue that we need to be selective while choosing a book and we must consider our social, moral and religious norms and standards while doing so.
Book reading introduces to you the best of each and everything. You get the best ideas, you discover the best activities and you learn about the best habits and personal discipline. In return, you come up with a personality that is mature in thoughts and perfect in discipline.

It is a general observation that in societies where people have habits of book reading, polite and respectable norms are practiced and promoted. Living in such a society becomes a complete pleasure where people are sensitive about their responsibilities and rights of others. Comparing to this, an illiterate society with no or less habits of book reading brings up people who are mostly unaware of civilized interactions and thus conflicts among the citizens can often be observed.

Our dear religion Islam can also be understood by reading more and more books and doing the research of one's own. It is a common finding that many of the strange things that were told to us by so-called saviors of Islam were either wrong or misinterpreted when one checked the books and tried to discover the realities.

The true spirit of Islamic worships and hidden wisdom of its teachings cannot be learnt and understood unless a person devotes himself to read the books about the said topics. Without understanding, Islam is no more than a collection of some of the prayers and worships and its universal message and effectiveness can only be truly understood by reading and research.

Environment plays an important role in promoting the habits of book reading. In places where libraries are easily accessible and books are available, children and students soon turn to the books. Similarly, role of parents is pivotal in this regard. If parents have established habits of reading books and there is present a stock of good books in the house or where books, newspapers and magazines usually come to house, children automatically fall in love with books and then they themselves pave their way to the next stage.

This is a very easy and affordable way of reaching to the height of humanity and making worldly progress and everyone has to contribute his share in establishing and promoting the habit of book reading.

Mohammad Rasool Shah is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan and teaches English at Afghan-Turk School, Kabul. Email your suggestions and opinions at muhammadrasoolshah@gmail.com

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