By Zarlish Wazir.
Fall season, a mug of hot coffee and a copy of Nicholas sparks novel; definition of a perfect evening for me. Growing up as the only daughter along with five brothers, it was these books which never made me feel lonely. My relationship with books goes back when I was in 8th grade and for the first time read something not related to the academic course which was R.L Stine’s thrillers: ‘Goosebumps’ , ‘fear Street’ and totally fell in love with them. Since then there has not been a single day when I don’t read.
Reading is said to be a lost art, which is, unfortunately, true to some extent. With the immense advancement in technology, people have moved away from the books and towards the latest gadgets. EBooks, spindle, E-newspapers and other new sources of information have replaced book reading eventually, people find it easier to just Google the info and read the particular section of any book online for their research or assignment which ultimately saves much of their time instead of reading a whole book. But there are certain drawbacks for depending completely on internet and technology. Firstly we know that there are types of reading i.e. reading for pleasure and reading for a purpose. To start with reading for a purpose, students nowadays can survive without a teacher but they can’t imagine a life without Google and other search engines. This has eventually killed our creativity. By just writing their topic sentence for the given assignment in the search box of Google students have delimited their creativity and thought process. They are no longer provoked to think critically and come up with something new. All they do is copy paste the material from the internet and get grades. Secondly, the easy access to everything by the internet has made us slothful. We are not prone to any complexities which have resulted in making us being casual about everything in our life thus when we are faced with any dilemma in our life our mind and body gives up and we look up to ‘suicide’ as the only option. as Iqbal said;
Lahu Muj Ko Rulati Hai Jawano Ki Tan Asani…
Similarly when it comes to reading for Aesthetic pleasure, which is again towards the edge of its extinct. Thanks to all the social networking sites. People like to spend more time on updating their status or posting their pictures and waiting for how many likes will they get. Furthermore, youngsters particularly prefer reading texts online on their tabs, spindles, and EBooks. Whereas all voracious reader would definitely agree with me that reading a book in its hard copy is way more pleasurable than reading from the soft copy. Plus reading from spindles or EBooks has an adverse effect on our health. According to a recent study which was published in The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: The lead professor who held the study Prof Charles Czeisler summed up that “The light emitted by most e-readers is shining directly into the eyes of the reader, whereas from a printed book or the original Kindle, the reader is only exposed to reflected light from the pages of the book.” Which not only affect the eyes, plus the decrease in sleep due to this sort of reading results in generating of cardiovascular diseases. One of the key factors which influence people drawing away from books is the technological evolution of filmmaking. Novels are being made into movies so people like to watch a long novel summed up in a two-hour movie. Children are no longer interested in the bedtime stories which their grandma or mother use to tell them before sleep. Instead, they like to check their snap chat, Facebook and twitter for latest updates before going to sleep. In addition to it, for people who think reading for pleasure or reading fiction is just waste of time; there was an interesting study conducted by a pair of psychologists in 2013, which was published in an influential journal Science, according to which they discussed that reading a passage from Literary fiction will positively influence one’s emotional intelligence. And people reading fiction can recognize and empathize more with other people’s feelings and emotional status than people who do not read fiction.
Science has undoubtedly made our life way too easier with great advancement and innovations but has also made our life mechanized. Reading also being the victim of it has suffered a lot. People need to realize how important reading to one’s life is. As Francis bacon says in his essay ‘Of Studies’; ‘Reading make a full man.’ Moreover in the current hustle and bustle of life reading is a great source of escapism. It takes away from the digital distractions. It not only makes one’s imagination strong it adds to one’s vocabulary. It helps developing language skills and gives information on anything; new subjects, new fields, and new cultures. No matter what book u read, fiction or non-fiction they definitely have a constructive impact not only on one’s personality but also on one’s life. So I believe it’s a high time to revive this lost art.
Writer is an English literature student and hails from Islamabad.