The more one reads the more open you become in your thinking – this was something that I have been hearing since my childhood. My father was particular that we children read and develop an interest in books and knowledge.

We see reading and knowledge being connected to wisdom and wise men since historical times. So reading has always had its importance in human evolution.

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Gaining Knowledge

We tend to view things differently as we gain more knowledge about people, places and about other people's behavior. One should not limit oneself to a particular kind of subject only ! Like for example some people read only religious books , or biographies or scientific books thereby losing out on other equally interesting and knowledgeable writings . There is knowledge in fiction, nonfiction or for that matter in all books written on various other subjects. They all contribute to increasing our awareness of people and society because all books are an extension of the author's experience and knowledge coupled with imagination. If we are able to take it as it is meant to be, we can gain a lot by reading.

When we read the right kind of books, especially the well-researched, well-written books by established authors, we tend to gain a lot of knowledge, which is bound to enhance our mental capabilities. Many thinkers and philosophers have written books based on their own experiences and their perceptions of life which give us insight as well as wisdom. Reading is a very powerful means of communication. While writing and penning his/her thoughts, the author is communicating with his/her readers. Reading and gaining knowledge can definitely be a positive influence on people - the more you read, the more ideas you get.

What is selective reading ?

When people read only what they are interested in and when they want it is called selective reading which is better than no reading ! Selective reading has its advantages to students in that, they can weed out the unnecessary paragraphs and sentences and concentrate on the gist which can be later expanded. This is a very helpful tool when people are studying for exams and tests.

We also need to be careful while selecting books, as a lot of unwanted stuff is available in the market that won't give any positive benefits . So, here we have to be selective in buying what is good for our thoughts and what enhances our mind rather than pick up trash that might give momentary pleasure but deviates the mind to a great extent when you begin to read more such writings. We tend to read books on subjects that interest us and unless you are open to new ideas you may not look beyond your own limited interests. However, even within that limited field of choice, one can always better oneself by being adventurous and trying out new subjects and books that have been recommended by trusted friends and family members.

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Reading and wisdom

Reading and knowledge and wisdom are interconnected ! Reading further helps in building up your knowledge and becoming much more capable of assessing and judging people and situations in life. We fall back on our knowledge while assessing situations and people most of this knowledge having come from books if you have the reading habit , more so in a narrow minded society like ours where we may not have any role models to follow. Most readers are broadminded since they get exposed to different cultures and sections of society. Being broadminded means being capable of making a fair and right judgment about others without being biased !

All great and respected men have had a sound educational background even if it is not just gaining degrees, but have had the opportunity of gaining knowledge through books and used this knowledge successfully in their own lives. If we are unable to put our knowledge into positive use, there is little use of such knowledge. So while reading make sure to analyse and go deep into the subject matter so that you are in command of the subject matter.

Reading as a Hobby

Reading is such a valuable hobby to cultivate. It is a well known fact that those who love books and reading are never bored . It is one of the best hobbies to cultivate .Collecting books and passing them on to your children is a great thing to do. I have seen some households where the members are very interested in books, every single room , including the bathrooms having either a shelf or some place where they have kept at least a few books so that you have easy access to them. Interest in books and reading is hereditary , when the parents read, children too do the same !

There were many doubts among people whether computers would take over and bring down the demand for books, but personally I feel that once a person has developed the reading habit, nothing can take it away from them. Reading definitely sharpens your thought process and makes you grasp ideas better. When a person reads books on different subjects, it makes him/her more knowledgeable and a more interesting person to converse with. Another great advantage that reading has is that it makes one positive and able to understand and accept others' opinions and views.

Reading is an extension of your child’s education

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Education is no doubt a very important aspect of a child's life , but unfortunately it has become a commercial proposition now. Not all the educated people are book lovers nor do they develop a reading habit - this has to be either cultivated right from the childhood or is inherent in an individual. Schools have libraries but not many of them have a reading period or a library period when the children went through the books and were allowed and encouraged to borrow two or three books each week. This developed a healthy and varied interest in reading other than their own text books.

Reading as a habit has to come naturally, it cannot be forced . Parents need to introduce books to their children from an early age itself. When parents are interested in books and reading and buy books, children automatically take an interest in books. It is not a challenging job to make your children develop the reading habit and take an interest in reading .It is also important to see that your child does not restrict itself to any one subject since every book is interesting and once they begin to read and enjoy they will want to read more.

Reading aloud is a good practice which develops an interest in books and one can also gift them books for special occasions , so that they collect books and take an interest in reading. Looking back on my own childhood, books were always an important part of growing and I can remember many incidents that had to do with books and libraries. Coming back to the present day generation I hardly hear of children going to libraries these days leave alone squabble over books , in fact where are the libraries? Many of them have already closed down or are on the verge of closing down due to the lack of patronage . At the same time ,nowadays the opportunities are limitless for book lovers since the quality of the books available is excellent and also you can read on the net or have a kindle !

Once children develop an interest in books and reading , most certainly they would never be bored during their vacation and holidays life..Books are the best gift that children can be given since you are helping them develop an excellent habit that will mold their entire personality. Gifting books to them for special occasions , also makes them develop the habit of collecting books and develop an interest in reading.. Most of those who love reading normally like to collect and keep all the books that they have bought over the years - there are many fond memories attached to them since books are read by everyone in the family .

Conclusions

To conclude reading habits should be cultivated from childhood, and should become an integral part of growing up. It may well prove to be the solution to many ills of our society. Each new book teaches us something new about life; it makes you think, rethink and sometimes changes the course of your life. Reading is definitely the best form of relaxation. A person who develops a reading habit is never bored in life.Books and Education are interlinked . As we can see no education is complete without developing an interest and love for books and knowledge. Gandhiji rightly said ' you educate a boy you educate an individual, you educate a girl you educate an entire generation "

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