Five Important Things to Know About Reading
Reading is pleasurable. Reading is for pleasure and pleasure is essential for a happy and peaceful life. “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” says George Martin. We may find it difficult to express our thoughts unambiguously and speak freely if we do not read in abundance. It is in this context perhaps said that think before you speak and read before you think. To achieve wisdom of rarity, perfection of thought and precision in expression one must read a lot. It is not just reading anything and everything but choice of books and literature is extremely critical for the reader. Therefore, Waldo Emerson beautifully remarks, “If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.” I often advise my students to acquire read skills and develop a good habit of reading a lot. This habit will open up umpteen avenues to learning. How precise is to put it here what Barack Obama believes. He says, “Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.” This article which mainly talks about five important aspects of reading- a factor for education is dedicated to all those who consider reading an indispensable component of education.
Reading Educates the Mind
Education, as we know, means the all-round development of our faculties— physical, mental and moral. Physical education should be imparted on playgrounds and in gymnasiums by means of sports, games and physical exercises. Moral education depends largely on healthy discipline exercised over young minds at home and at school or educational institute, and more by good examples than by precepts. But, for the education of the mind nothing is more helpful than the study of books. Instructions imparted by teachers are of course necessary and useful in their own way, even more valuable than tutorial instruction is the instruction that is quietly and spontaneously absorbed from the study of books. For it often happens that a man’s real development, so far as his mind is concerned, is due to the influence of the books that he reads or has read. Take for example, the case of the novelist Sarat Chandra Chatterjee. He was not highly educated in the usual acceptance of the term, but he had furnished his mind by a wide reading of books, and their influence on the make-up of his mind and on the essentials of his art was simply outstanding.
The Place of Reading in Educational System
Whatever arrangements we make for the education of the learners, ample provision must be made so that they can have the opportunity to read a large number of books, to browse happily in a select library. Of course it is necessary to read books with discrimination, particularly in these days when all sorts of books are being published daily and advertised extensively, online reading materials are available on various portals and platforms. Even if it were desirable to read a considerable section of the books that are published and the reading materials are available aplenty, it would be practically impossible to do so even for the most voracious reader. Reading of books must therefore be organized in such a way that we can derive the maximum of benefit from reading as many of them as might be possible for us.
How Reading Should Be Conducted
Needless to say that for this purpose it is better for the reader to rely on the help and guidance of a well-read man. In Western countries the librarian is invariably a man of this type. Librarians are specialists in charge of the different departments of knowledge, and they are more than helpful; they often create tastes and direct the mind. In our country it is best to rely on the teacher. He knows the mental aptitude and capacity of his student, and he gives his suggestions accordingly. By following his suggestions, therefore, the reader economizes time and avoids wastage of labour. Once however the reading habit is formed, one should be left to one’s own resources to follow the particular bent of his mind thereby he will become unknowingly an expert in the line.
Reading Excites Our Mind And Provokes Our Thoughts
Books are a storehouse of ideas and information on a variety of subjects. By the study of books readers gather information, and acquire knowledge .Further, a good book is always an intellectual stimulant; it excites the mind and provokes thought. Again and again we find that by reading a particular book, we have had to modify our impressions and opinions. Hence, the study of books often liberates the mind from the limitations of prejudices and conventional ways of thought. It not only corrects errors but improves judgment also. Hence it sums up that books help our minds to expand. “That, after all, is the ultimate end and object of education—”to free, arouse and dilate the mind” as the American poet Whitman so admirably said.
The recreational value of reading is often supposed to have nothing to do with education. But that is only if we look upon education from a narrow standpoint of merely acquiring such knowledge as is necessary in the practical affairs of life. Taken in a broad sense, recreation rightly used is a valuable aid to education. And there can be no better form of recreation than the reading of books.
A Good Reader Pays Attention To Everything
Something must be said about the manner of reading books. Reading for education demands close application to the contents of the books; it involves intelligent labour and constant attention. He is a bad reader who passes over a .word or a sentence without taking in its full meaning and implication. A good reader pays attention to everything. But there are also times when one loves to skip over the pages of a book, or just browse over it in a leisurely way. It depends of course, upon the type of the book, and your object of reading it. It is a process that certainly refreshes the mind and makes it fit for more strenuous pursuits.
But even a good thing may be carried too far: “Books”, as Stevenson says, “are good enough in their own way but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life” “The bookful block-head ignorantly read” is rightly viewed with contempt. Reading is no doubt am important part of life, but it would be a mistake to equate it with living. The world of books is a shadowy world projected on the mind, and must always be reinforced by the mind.
Written By:- Dr. SK Bose, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Manav Rachna University