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Books and human life



“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Ernest Hemingway

The above words from a man as remarkable as Mr. Hemingway, an American author and Journalist convey the best possible thoughts anyone can have with respect to books. Books are no doubt, man’s best friends. They are there in your time of need, and they can tell you the wisest possible things on Earth. They are the epitomes of human intelligence and emotions at the same time. They are the basis of humankind in today’s era. Without books, the world would be as bare as a man without soul. Books are the torch carriers of a generation’s knowledge. In short, the whole world depends upon the progressiveness provided to it by books.

Reading a book is a mesmerizing experience for those who love it. The exhilarating experience of turning a page, the excitement and eagerness to see what’s there on the next one, the smell of paper, the words and the lines, the author’s voice, the picturesque imaginations are some of the elements only an observant reader can be aware of. In fact, people who read the most are able to observe various things in nature and the man-made society, which others aren’t. Books contain words, which have the power to change us, to make us better persons than we are at present. The power of a good book can never be measured in terms of materialistic definitions. Those who read, reach a new height, which is abstract.

Stephen King has called books a ‘uniquely portable magic’. This is very much true of these carriers of world philosophy, religion, culture, science, civilization, in short almost every knowledge that humans possess.

In a rather exaggerating statement Mark Twain remarks, “In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.” This statement in fact is a symbol of the power and potential of books. People who are interested in absorbing what they [books] have to offer, in reality capture the fascinating charm the books exhibit. And if they are able to assimilate it into themselves it reaches its objective.

Books don’t only bring amusement or entertainment for those who love them. More practically speaking, books also fulfill your hunger for knowledge. They are not only to be read when getting bored, but they are to be held in hands when you could have done many other things. This is when they come to serve their greatest objective.

The bad news here is, this habit of reading and spending time with books is entering the phase of being endangered, as more and more people are getting busy with their daily lives. Why spend time reading a book when you can click some buttons on your computer and earn some money meanwhile? Why embrace a book when you can very easily watch a movie in half of the half time taken to do the former work? Why read a book when you can spend your time playing video games? These are some of the most frequently put forward logics behind not giving time to books by today’s youth. Moreover, many consider books a waste of money and paper.

However true these accusations against books might seem to be, there is no turning back on the advantages of giving a special and considerable place to books in one’s life.

“So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall.”  – Roald Dahl.

Books help one gain not only knowledge but also confidence and imagination. They provide one with ability to usher into some transitional space while physically being present on the planet, as William Styron has said, “You live several lives while reading”.

Governments, educational institutions and parents all over the world are trying to get children into the habit of reading. ‘You reap as much as you read’ is the saying of hour. In order to inculcate the habit of reading books in children we should try reading them ourselves first. We need to gently and subtly put the thought of having a book in our bedside to wake up to. We also need to convince children regarding the benefits of reading books. Also a point to be made here is that books need not be always related with literature. That would be like putting a bird in a golden cage. Rather, books relate to everything possible in this world and the younger generation needs to understand this.

Today, this myth needs to be taken out of the minds of people that those who read books are essentially ‘bookworms’. No!! Those who read books are far more above than ‘bookworms’. They know how to observe the World. They have the greatest vision and imagination which when combined with long sightedness becomes invincible. All these characteristics can alter any person willing to spend just a fraction of their life to books for, John Green has said, “Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.”

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