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It is essential for every educated person to cultivate the love of reading. Reading is often classified as a hobby, but it is, in fact, much more than one. A hobby is enjoyed by few; whereas reading is an activity which each literate person must incorporate into his daily routine. Unfortunately, though, most youngsters do not even read the daily newspaper. As a result, they are unaware of major social and political developments.
You no doubt have endless questions about the world in which you live, the answers to which are never found in your textbooks. You might wonder why the sky is blue, or how different languages came into being, or what the Eskimos were doing while Buddha preached his philosophy in India. A good encyclopaedia can provide the answers to all such queries.
Apart from the daily newspaper and volumes of encyclopaedia, you have a variety of books and periodicals to choose from, depending on your interests. If science is your favourite area of study, you might go in for science journals and science fiction; if it's history that intrigues you, there's history-based fiction and books like Nehru's 'Glimpses of World History'. If you're fascinated by the natural world, you could subscribe to the 'National Geographic'. And for the literary kinds, there are the all-time classics by great authors like Charles Dickens and Mark Twain. If you are too young to read the originals, never mind. Most classics are also available in abridged versions for school-children! There are pure entertainers too, which most children enjoy reading: Enid Blyton's mystery and adventure stories, for instance.
Reading enriches the mind by improving the reader's knowledge, language and communication skills and making him receptive to new ideas. Books expose one to a world one has never seen. They can take the reader to distant countries and into centuries past! Which is why a wise man once wrote:
Books are keys to wisdom's treasure
Books are gates to lands of pleasure,
Books are paths that upward lead.
Books are friends: Come let us read!

-Ashwini Parulkar

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