When it came to writing about our hobbies, how many of us had written about ‘reading’? Not many. How many for singing, dancing or painting? Plenty. In a typical orthodox Indian household, seeing a child sitting with a book in their spare time? Now that’s a rare sight.

Having lived in India all my life, I’ve only seen people praising people who know how to sing or dance. When I was a child, I used to write about gardening as my hobby with absolutely zero truth in it. Even in school, not a single teacher encouraged us ever to start reading stories. Although we wrote compositions on ‘The benefits of reading’, we mostly did so for the sake of marks. I’m now 22 and still, my parents think that too much reading is a waste of time. Obviously, I disagree.

Reading is definitely one of the finest and best hobbies ever. If it develops from our childhood, then that’s a plus. One of the major advantages of reading is that it is a never-ending collection of knowledge. Books work as our window to the outside world. From the neighboring town to the country miles away, we find information about everything in these printed pages. Television also serves a similar purpose, but too much of it leads to developing addictions. In the case of books, no addiction is negative. Many times authors leave traces of their religious culture in their writings, giving us glimpses of different societies.

Reading enhances creativity. Even if we leave aside the knowledgeable part of books, children need creativity in their academics as well. When I was a child, I genuinely had problems with English writings, specifically for the theory parts. Later, when I started reading, I could write more on my own even on remote topics. Hence, reading benefits our formal education.

The benefits of reading are not limited to creativity only. Books are a massive source of diverse words that we need to add depth to our writings, even if is to score well in college admission essays. From a hobby, writing can transform into a career and frequently does so. Writing may not pay well in the beginning, but we are pursuing our dreams, aren’t we?

Fiction or non-fictions, life stories of real survivors in different situations inspire and help us to constantly move ahead despite the potholes in our way. Self-help books, inspiring quotes, DIYs, etc., we can always seek help from books in any situation. They’re like the silent friend whom we don’t quite value in our lives but find invaluable in times of need.

In today’s age, children are always surrounded by the pressure of the future. They’ve to score well in every subject; they must hurry between tuitions and school, and fit in a dance class to swimming and at times more. Amidst this everyday race, we are forgetting a simple fact – children are supposed to play and live fully. Soon, they’ll have enough to worry about the future. What most adults fail to understand is that as a result of all this stress, children are silently suffering from depression as well. It is affecting their health. Research has proved that reading books alleviates stress and helps us to calm our mind. Reading for even half an hour every day can work wonders.

When I started reading as a teenager, I wasn’t aware of the multiverse of authors and their genres. Needless to say, I did not always access the essence of books. Now, as an English literature graduate, I wish I had started earlier. There are so many books with an even greater variety to explore. For me, books are an indispensable part of my life and I love reading books because of the sheer pleasure I get from being in their company. Whenever I’m low, I take a book and lose myself in the printed word.

From my experience, I want to urge parents and teachers to encourage their children and students to read. Outside of our homely bubble, there lies a vast sea of readings- comics, magazines, short stories, dramas, novels, poetry, and even more. One can start with anything they fancy, perhaps in their most preferable language. From there with time, one can move to different genres; maybe different languages as well. Just as education is the key to progress, reading is the companion for many more practical aspects of life. If you do not start reading now, your taste buds will surely miss the various flavor of the platter called “book”


  -by Lagnajita Paul

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *