“Books are uniquely portable magic.”
Being in the 21st century, rightly called as the information age, which has entitled man to all that information he needs, through a palm-size monster called as smartphone, does it really matter to rethink on whether we should hold on to the age old habit of reading? A fairly large number of people feel- No. The reason being simple- Selective information access. Electronic media enables us to get what we want rather than get all that is available, unlike books.
It would be a fool’s argument if I am hell bent on asserting that books score over electronic knowledge base. That is definitely not the message I intend to convey. Putting the problem in a nutshell, we, the frontrunners of digital revolution essentially lack the ability to assimilate information into knowledge by sensible application of mind. To be precise, we have a broad idea of everything but deep knowledge of nothing.
The reason is not far-fetched. It is right in front of our eyes. We have been, by and large, paralyzed by excessive and injudicious use of technology. Let me give a few instances-
16% of 5600? –Where’s the calculator?
Dial a friend? –Search the phonebook.
Give a lecture? –Oh wait, let me open my textbook!
Solve this problem? –Sorry, I don’t remember the formula.
If we observe these four lines carefully, the hitch is clearly evident i.e. the memory element in the brain is losing its effectiveness due to lack of usage. At a grosser level, it may not be an issue. But at a subtler level, it is an undesirable brain impairment. The ability to derive knowledge from a life of sheer discipline, consistent study, reflective thought and contemplation is slowly depleting in the younger generation. With such trends continuing, generations to come will be rendered as a herd of mere human robots.
So, the need of the hour is to nurture the thirst for knowledge in young minds by encouraging them to read good, thought provoking books. Reading should be backed up by consistent effort to reflect upon what is being read and to reason logically, in order to discriminate between what is right and what is wrong. Use technology with awareness. This is sure to enhance a person’s problem-solving ability, his outlook towards the society, his character and his personality as a whole.
As an ending note, I would like to say, enjoy the pleasure of reading. If you are not a book-worm, become one. Ignite the reading hobby in you. Spread yourselves across various areas and choose that which interests you- science, literature, arts, economics, history, philosophy, spirituality etc. Instead of whiling away our time in wasteful activities let us pick a book and share the joy of knowledge.
The next time you see a book, don’t be surprised if it calls out, “Hey, read me!”