Imagine waking up to a world without the internet, which for some inexplicable reason has ceased to exist forever. For most of us, a life without Google, YouTube, and Facebook is a scenario nightmares are made of.
Those of us who grew up reading books (and those who have taken up reading recently) would probably raise our collective eyebrows one eighth of an inch, yawn politely and pick up the juicy crime thriller we had been reading before the ‘calamity’ took the surfing millions by surprise and sent them into a state of deep shock and utter disbelief! However, the book lovers would be more interested to find out who really committed the crime in the whodunit we just mentioned: was it the butler or was it the hollywood star staying at the Haveli as the Maharajah’s personal guest!
The world is divided into two groups: Book lovers, and those who regard the activity as one that requires infinite amount of patience to wade through tonnes of the written word– one solitary page at a time. For book lovers, however, it was books that kept them out of mischief in childhood, it was books that provided them with a window to the world in college, and it was books that kept them entertained when they started fending for themselves.
Now that surfing the net is not an option anymore, it is time to introduce all young people out there to the wonderful world of books. Reading is good clean fun which also provides the following benefits:
Babies: Research has shown that our learning really begins when we are still inside our mothers’ wombs. In Mahabharata, Abhimanyu learns about the technique to break the Chakravyuha (a multi-layered military formation the breaking of which was a secret) in the womb after listening to Lord Krishna’s narrative to his pregnant sister Subhadra. Doctors are of the view that pregnant women can benefit by thinking positive thoughts and reading good books (by reading out aloud)
Toddlers and preschoolers: Introducing children to reading at a young age helps them to improve their cognitive abilities and they tend to perform better in school. Children are curious by nature and the best way to arouse their curiosity is by introducing them to the pleasures of reading books.
Children aged 6 and above: Reading helps children of any age to be more alert and active, and therefore to be more creative. It makes them ponder, analyze, discuss and judge the merits and demerits of a given subject–an ability in great demand to be a part of the 21st century workforce.
Adults: Doctors recommend that reading books is the best way to remain mentally alert. Books take on the role of guardian of our mental health by helping us to remain alert
So what kind of books should children read? While we think parents are the best judges, we do urge you to take a look at BRIL’s list of 100 books specially handpicked for children to enjoy: http://blog.brilindia.com/?s=book+list
To summarize, reading books is a great activity for its ability to make us THINK– the natural ability all humans possess in abundance. It is time to put this ability to good use and reduce our dependence on gadgets to do our work–that includes doing our own thinking! What do you think?