“Books are man’s best friends” is an oft-repeated cliché. But there is no denying the fact that one learns more from books than from any other source. Reading for pleasure can be the best hobby one can have.
As far as I am concerned, I started reading at the age of 3 when I learnt my ABC. Five decades later, the passion still continues. When I stood first in class in KG II, my grandfather gifted me a beautiful classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” which I still have. Over the years, every time I stood first in class, all I wanted was a book or an issue of Amar Chitra Katha which featured all the great men and women of India. When I stood first in college, I was given the tome -”The complete works of Shakespeare”.
Library is something I cannot do without and I have been a member of some library or the other for as long as I can remember. Finishing a book in three hours or less was the challenge I always set for myself. My insatiable thirst for reading helped me read fast for competitive exams and also comprehend things faster than an average reader. My vocabulary quotient was always very high, due to excessive reading, so much so that I was called a “walking dictionary” in the office. Those were times when there were no computers and mobiles.
Even today, my morning has to begin with a cup of coffee and the newspaper. In fifteen minutes I am through with all the news, as that is the maximum time I can spare in the morning for reading. As an IELTS/TOEFL trainer, I have been able to finish corrections very fast over the last twelve years, thanks to speed reading. With technology in place, my son has gifted me a Kindle so that I can have lots of books to read when I travel. If I have completed my Ph D after entering my 50s, it was possible due to my love for reading and nothing else!!!
Unfortunately, children of today have not been initiated into the wonderful world of books. Parents and teachers fail to understand that what may begin as a hobby in childhood will be of immense use to children later in cracking competitive exams and also in their professional life. The good impact of reading cannot be overemphasized.
In my opinion, by making children pick up the habit of reading at a tender age, we will be doing them an invaluable service. It may seem trivial for children today, but the humongous benefits of this will be reaped by them much later. So on World Book Day, let us resolve to make at least one child pick up the habit of reading