The Importance of Reading

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Many people find reading a chore. Perhaps television and video games are more attractive. In today’s digital age the traditional habit of reading has been replaced by eBooks. But do devices like kindle or tablets give the same pleasure as reading from a book? Well, that is another long debate. Lets talk about reading, in general.Those who know the great joys of reading have richer lives and broader perspectives, be it from any medium.

Books introduce you to the fragrant flowers of life, to rivers, roads and adventures. You can find stars and light, feel delight or be moved to anger at injustice. You are set adrift on a vast sea of emotion in a ship of reason, moved by the infinite breeze of poetry. Dreams and dramas evolve. The whole world comes alive.

Reading is a privilege only human beings have. No other living thing on this planet can read. Encountering a great book is like encountering a great teacher. Through reading, we come in contact with hundreds and thousands of lives and commune with sages and philosophers from as long as two thousand years ago. Books have existed centuries ago and its through ancient texts and manuscripts that we have discovered so much knowledge about our ancestors.

Reading is a journey. You can travel east or west, north and south and discover new people and places. Reading transcends time. You can go on an expedition with Alexander the Great or make friends with Socrates and Victor Hugo and hold dialogues with them. Not only reading books improves our vocabulary but they also guide our minds into a totally different world and train us to be more imaginative.

Almost without exception, great people throughout history had a book they held dear during their youth – a book that served as a guide, a source of encouragement, a close friend and mentor. To gain true satisfaction from anything requires practice, training and effort. You can’t become a great skier or skateboarder without working at it. The same goes for playing the piano and patience to appreciate reading.

Reading gives you access to the treasures of the human spirit – from all ages and all parts of the world. Someone who knows this possesses unsurpassed wealth. It’s like owning countless banks from which you can make unlimited withdrawals. And those who have tasted this joy, who look on books as friends, are strong.

Reading is essential to thinking. Perhaps we can even say reading is a sign of our humanity. We mustn’t limit our lives to one field to the exclusion of all else. No matter how high people’s positions are, if they haven’t read great novels by the world’s renowned authors, they can never hope to become outstanding leaders. To build a humane society where people live with dignity requires leaders who are acquainted with great literature.

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