Reading, the exercise of the mind
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By Ashlyn Sheshynna and Manusrii Sundhar
“Put down that video game controller and go read a book!”
Something we have all heard at least once in our lives. Our whole lives reading has been treated like a punishment meant to rain on our fun parade, I say it’s time we change that. Let me share with you the true reason I read and finally put an end to this stigma.
Reading should be cultivated as a hobby as it has numerous benefits. Less than 20% of teenagers report reading a book, magazine or newspaper daily for pleasure.
1. ESCAPE FROM REALITY
Just like Alice from Alice in Wonderland, a book by Lewis Carroll, we too need a break from reality. The only difference is instead of spiralling down a rabbit hole we have the more conventional method of picking up a book and immersing ourselves into a whole new world.
The relationships we build with these characters are similar to the ones you feel when watching a movie. The feeling you get when your favourite TV show comes to an end, the post concert depression, all these prove the feeling of euphoria you get when experiencing something you love. The same can be said about reading, I guarantee you waterworks at the end of your favourite novel.
2. EXPERIENCE CULTURE AND AGED TIMES
Black and white films are something of the past, yet many of us find comfort and nostalgia in rewatching classics. Maybe it’s the fact that we will never get to live in the eras of the past. The glory days filled with spirit and culture that died out over the years. That’s where the genre of historical fiction comes into play.
Classic novels such as “Jane Eyre” and “The Book Thief” transport you back into time where English as we know it isn’t that same and dynamics between us humans were both odd yet intriguing.
Even more cultural works that will never meet a circumstance for a revival, such as works from the Harlem Renaissance and the Lost Generation hold a significance in how history has panned out today. This one is for all the history nerds out there.
3. NEURONIC WORKOUT
We all know that reading can only happen when we concentrate and focus on the words in front of us. Thus, reading can stimulate our brain to focus and concentrate more which will be useful in our everyday lives.
In this day and age, where excessive usage of social media reduces our attention span, reading can help counteract that by lengthening our attention span.
4. PART OF A COMMUNITY
“Book people are the best people”, something I will forever go by. That one awkward situation I found myself in turned around completely when I pointed out the book a random stranger was reading.
The conversationalist in me came out at that moment. That was the moment I realised that those who read are all connected by fond memories that stick with us forever yet no two readers’ experiences are ever the same.
I often find myself flummoxed when I hear the phrase “I don’t read”. Ask any person, there will always be a time, whether it be in the far past or the present, that there was a book that stood out to them. I will always believe that those who don’t read just haven’t read the right book.