21 October 2010

Read the Printed Word

I have today added the following "button" to my blog which I found at this website:  it is a timely reminder of the importance and the value of reading the printed word on paper as opposed to reading it on our computer screens, mobile phones, i-Pad and Kimble devices.  Here is an extract from the above mentioned website which says, "We support the printed word in all its forms: newspapers, magazines, and of course books. We think reading on computers or phones or whatever is fine, but it cannot replace the experience of reading words printed on paper. We pledge to continue reading the printed word in the digital era and beyond."

Here is another extract which defines the importance of reading and it has been taken from this website:

Why is the habit of reading important?

The importance of reading is difficult to express in words but can experienced by people from all walks of life. With the advent of modern technology, the i-pod and the X-box have probably overtaken the humble Hardy Boys or Tom Sawyer in managing to catch the attention of the young kids. Parents and others would however do well to inculcate the habit of reading in children from a very young age and that will prove to be in good stead for the years to come.

Although one can take to reading at any age, I have seen that it is much easier to begin at a young age and develop a love and passion for reading rather than forcing oneself to indulge in this at a later age in life.
Reading has a host of benefits - tangible and intangible and should in fact become a habit as common as bathing or eating.

I have been an avid reader since my childhood (and I can't seem to thank my parents enough for this gift) and to this date my house and work desk have been overflowing with books as I constantly move from one book to another enjoying the pearls of wisdom or the fantasies that come along with them.

The importance of reading - Reason #1

Reading can make you smarter

Yes.  Reading is a very active state exercise for your mind as opposed to watching TV or listening to music. Reading forces your brain cells to engage in activity as you paint a vivid image in your mind about the story that you are reading. Your brain is also a muscle which must be worked on a regular basis as this will keep your mental faculties constantly engaged and thus keep you sharper and smarter.

The importance of reading - Reason #2

Reading can improve your vocabulary and language skills

If you are a regular reader, you are bound to come across the works of various authors and will be exposed to several different literary styles. You will keep on learning new words, phrases, idioms and learn to use them in several different ways as well.

One handy tip for youngsters - Keep a dictionary handy. If you come across a new word you don't know, look it up immediately in the dictionary. From my own personal experience I can tell you that this has done wonders for my vocabulary and I loved interacting with new words every day and with each new book that I read. Keep reading new books, new genres, fiction and non-fiction.  Give yourself some variety and I am sure that you will pick up some new words each day. 

The importance of reading - Reason #3

Reading makes you knowledgeable

Reading does make you knowledgeable. The more you read, the diverse books you read, each time you are adding valuable pieces of knowledge to your mental database.

Everyone knows how important it is to be knowledgeable to succeed in any area of life that you choose. It will perhaps be less surprising to learn that the most successful people in many walks of life would be the persons who are the most well read.

Noble Peace Prize winner and former President of Israel - Shimon Peres very wisely said ~

Your best friends are not only human beings, but books. To read books is like going to swim in a sea of wisdom, endlessly fascinating. There are so many wise people all over the world, throughout history, and you can have it free, for nothing. Reading must become a daily habit. It's not that you can read once a week. I read day in and day out, and you make acquaintances with books. After a few pages, you know with whom you are dealing.

The importance of reading - Reason#4

Reading boosts creativity

What is creativity? - It's the ability to identify unusual or novel connections to a given set of facts. Creativity requires the individual to be knowledgeable in several areas to be able to make these connections.  Creative individuals are generally masters in their area of expertise and very good readers and thus knowledgeable about several different aspects. This constant reading and ability to think out of the box helps them to see patterns, novel connections or new solutions where others are not able to relate.

Thus, it is not always necessary to know what you will do with your reading. The dots will connect at sometime in the future and will give you innovative and creative solutions. Keep reading. You will definitely be more creative in whatever area of life you choose to excel. 


Figure 1:  Here are some books from our library at home.

Figure 2:  More books from our library at home.

Like the author of this article, I too have enjoyed reading from an early age.  I particularly enjoy the tangible, tactile elements of reading.  It is wonderful to be able to hold a book in your hands and appreciate the beauty of its cover and the weight of it.  New books also tend to have a wonderful smell about them.  None of these above mentioned characteristics can be replicated with reading articles on the internet or even for that matter when listening to books on audio devices.  I too have found that it is essential to look up new words when you come across them in your reading.  An important part of reading is to develop your vocabulary and your appreciation of new words and to learn in what context they are used within the text that you are reading.
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