When I was in school, my favourite subject was English literature. I hated mathematics. And because I hated the subject, my dislike for the teacher grew too. The English Literature period was the time when I could step into a world of fantasy, where stories unfolded, where imaginations soared. I blame my extreme love for the English language and novels on my English teacher of those times, a middle-aged Parsi woman with the talent to turn literature into drama.
It’s from here that my love for books began. And with time, it grew.
If someone today were to ask me why I loved books so much, I’d say, because the written word has so many more advantages than anything or anyone else in life.
You are taught to think when you read. Your diction improves. Your language does too. You read stories that turn into adventures in your head.
A book is reliable company. The only disadvantage the art of reading has is that too much of it may strain human eyes.
Nothing captivates me as much as a new novel by my bedside table.
Sadly though, the charm of reading is slowly dying. The new generation and even our own aged peers prefer to spend hours working online. Corporate jobs require people to read and write emails and stay connected through Blackberrys and palm pilots 24/7. How then will one want to read anymore after a long day reading emails and text messages?
The advent of direct to home satellite TV sets made room for more movie channels. Our kids, and us too, prefer to therefore spend more time watching a movie or two, when time permits. Reading, after all, takes more time for us, and not to mention, the extra effort.
We’ve built superior technology with every passing year, but inferior minds. The younger generation hardly pays attention to the classical regional literature, on which life, theatre, modern day minds are formed. Classics like Gone with the Wind gather dust in every town library, while teenagers pick up lifestyle magazines, which offer tips on dating and makeup.
The Internet connected the world together, but disconnected us. We prefer to spend time logged on, on Facebook, Twitter, or watching movies, listening to music, and following TV shows.
How often do any of us download books? The world’s book lovers tried to keep up with the trend, they introduced a limitless number of websites through which we, the readers, could download books, just so that the beautiful art of reading books could be kept alive.
But, no, we still don’t do anything to save the next generation, or to show them how beautiful books actually are. We let them go through life believing in TV, internet, cold professions are what is life all about.
As I watch the beautiful art of reading die with time, I cling on to the hope of a miracle.