“That’s the thing about books.
They let you travel without moving your feet”
-Jhumpa Lahiri (Writer of The Lowland)
Your favourite cup of dark coffee with chocolate chips on the froth, a light drizzle outside, and your favorite book in one hand. Isn’t it a breath-taking moment each one of us crave for?
Books are definitely the only thing that booklovers do not get fed up of, condition being, they aren’t our academic ones ?.
The leaves (pages) in books teach us a lot, sometimes in straightforward ways, sometimes in an indirect manner.
With the World Book Day having just passed on 23rd April, we realize that every great writer in this world started reading and writing at a tender age. Hence it isn’t incorrect to say, most part of their wisdom came from reading books.
If you start reading from an early age, you are surely going to excel in life. Books not only enhance our knowledge in various subjects, but also teach us to live life to the fullest with a strong foundation of ethics and good manners.
As a small child or infant, we were narrated stories like The Thirsty Crow, Akbar, and Birbal, etc. by our mothers and grandmothers. Later, we read children’s literature like Fables, short stories, books, etc. An interesting point is that good books influence children in many positive ways. Some elements of the characters that books depict, children, start imbibing in themselves.
Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book was and is every child’s favourite and we can’t deny that kids imitated their hero- Mowgli. When Mowgli fights and wins the stronger Shere Khan in the jungle, children learn the lesson that life is all about being independent, brave, and bold– the only means to achieve success. The book helps in achieving the fundamental values of living a simple yet happening life.
Winnie – the Pooh is an example of an epic kind of storytelling, that taught kids how to be a true friend. Pooh’s and Piglet’s friendship was an epitome that every child can follow in his/ her life to realize the goals of true friendship. The book taught us to value friendship, have patience, and learn to be true to our emotions.
“If there ever comes a day when we can’t together keep me in your heart, I will stay there forever”
-Winnie, the Pooh
In fact, children are very quick to learn at a young age. We, as responsible human beings, teachers, parents, and friends should try to instil the habit of reading in kids. Stories like The Hare and tortoise from Aesop’s fables can incorporate the values of being slow and steady. In other words, stories are great ways to help kids learn moral values, if they are guided properly.
Morals and Ethics
Every book tells a story. It is up to the readers how to take the story and understand it. Some might misinterpret and imbibe wrong values. Thus, it’s a moral responsibility of each one of us to help incorporate good ethics by spreading the true message of the book.
Through characters, situations and their experiences, we can develop wisdom, smartness, love, friendship, honesty, courtesy, truth, courtship, marriage lessons, equality, justice, etc in our life.
Alcott’s Little Women taught us, marriages are not made in heaven as it’s often thought.
The Story of my life by Hellen Keller can very brilliantly inspire blind and handicapped people who feel life is unjust to them and they have nothing to look forward to. In fact, the blind girl can taught us life is beautiful and it’s all a matter of perspective. She can inspire millions of blind girls who want to learn in life.
Similarly, I am Malala can be a good inspiration to people who want to achieve successs through education.
Mahatma Gandhi’s My experiments with Truth can be a good way to realize the value of non-violence and at the same time incorporate truth and other good values in our life. Thus, books can be a good way to make us understand the importance of manners in life.
Fiction and Non–fiction
Among the wide range of genres that exist, we can incorporate so many good values in our lifestyle and day to day work experiences, by reading books.
Fiction literature like “Pride and Prejudice” can be a good teacher in today’s time to break stereotypes in our mind. We can learn from Mr Darcy’s character that not everyone is proud and we can’t judge someone from face value.
“I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a book”
The iconic bestseller “Harry Potter” series can be a good way to learn the morals of being right, truthful and virtuous. We can use such morals in our daily life. Even though Potter lost his parents at a very young age, his inner goodness made him a great magician. Surely, a lot can be learned from every single book.
Apart from this, the non-fiction literature is a great testimony to the many successful careers of great personalities. Rather, we can say that biographies and autobiographies of writers, businessmen, heroes, politicians, etc. are direct testimonials to all of us.
Wings of Fire by Dr Abdul Kalam is one such book that can inspire millions of young minds who have failed in life miserably but have the fire to keep working on themselves.
Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar is a painful yet eye-opening account of her own life when she suffered from depression. Put together, both fiction and Non-fiction books can help us remain inspired in life.
Some books like Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill are business-oriented ones, giving good business advice which we can use in our professional lifestyle to grow richer.
Changing our lifestyle: The Challenge
No matter how much quantity one reads, we should always try to learn and incorporate the same in our individual lives. That’s only when the true purpose of reading is served.
Most of the time, people finish the book, and then it’s either kept in a nook of the library or just forgotten forever. This defeats the real purpose of reading. To actually impact our lives in a positive manner, every person should try to understand the core ideas behind writing the book, should understand the characters in detail, and then try to fixate the good values that can be learned from it. Merely reading a book to just finish it, makes no great difference.
Besides that, we must always keep visiting the old books we read. This way the memory remains alive. We should also try to correlate the story of the book with our lives because let’s not forget that writers write by observing incidents that happen around them.
Keep in mind that we can significantly change our lives through these bundles of leaves. A small character, a small extract, or even a single line can sometimes produce miraculous results.
“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his/ her own”.
-Paul Coelho’s The Alchemist
Credits : Aparna Sharma
Aparna has been fond of writing down her thoughts since childhood. She didn’t realize when, this hobby became her passion.She just started her professional journey in the world of writing. Aparna is freelance content writer.