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Reading – A Dying Art?

March 25, 2012

Reading – A Dying Art?


Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body’. This saying gives us a clear understanding of the importance of reading. A book transports you to another world without you having to move inch.
There was a time when our growing up years were marked by the number and the kind of book we read. So while in middle school we devoured the famous Five and ‘Treasure Island’ and our high school Was ruled by Shakespearean epic like ‘ Romeo and Juliet’ and the more popular Agatha Christie and Hardy Boys. But nowadays we find that reading has taken a backseat for most children.
Today our reading is confined to classroom textbooks with a few storybooks or comics thrown in here and there. The quest to read good novels and epic is almost non-existent. The influx of the electronic media as a form of entertainment has played an important role in this trend.
Today, we find children more engrossed in videogames and TV serials. They sit for hours watching such mindless capers, which dull their imagination and do nothing to improve their language skills. Although the Internet has managed to provide materials for good reading, it faces tough competition from other electronic gadgets.
The modern system of education , which emphasizes rote learning and exam-oriented reading, has also contributed to hastening the end of this wonderful pastime. The beauty of having an interesting book in hand and a cup of hot chocolate on rainy day needs to be experienced to be understood.
Reading not only gives you information but also stokes your imagination. When you read about a beautiful garden, you can add a mental picture with your vivid imagination, whereas a picture of the same would limit your imagination and thinking capacity.
The silver lining to this situation is shift in the education and evaluation system, which has been promoted by our education minister. The shift to project-based and activity based formative evaluation methods from the restrictive summative type of evaluation will encourage children to go beyond their textbooks. The advance in printing technology and related areas has lead to the concept of having talking books and big books. These colourful and bold font print books will help to hold the interest of children and encourage them to read. This will go a long way in developing their phonetics and grammatical skills, which is sadly lacking in most of the youngsters of today.
Lastly, I would like to add, reading g not only enriches your mind, but also your bank balance. The most convincing example of this is the contestant of popular quiz show KBC. Despite being a homemaker from a small town in Jharkhand, she admitted to being a voracious reader. This habit of hers helped her to walk away with a crore of rupees, whereas more educated and employed contestants of the same show were struggling to get through each round.
So children, make books your best friends and you will never be lonely.

Courtesy:Robin Age

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