Reading Books as a Pastime
Introduction : Pastime is anything done to pass time pleasantly. When people do something remaining free from all kinds of hard physical lab our, mental conflicts and responsibilities, it is called ‘pastime’. People like to enjoy their leisure deliberately and spontaneously. It keeps a man engaged in an attractive thing and saves him from the evil path. There are many kinds of pastimes for people to pursue along with their daily duties. Reading is one of the most innocent, ambitions, dignified and thrilling pastimes for a person.
Reading books is the best pastime : Books are the source of knowledge. What the scientists, philosophers and men of letters thought about an achieved in the field of human knowledge has been preserved in black letters in the pages of books. Books are not absolutely dead things. They influence one’s sentiments and one’s attitude to life. They have a refining influence over the former and a liberalizing influence over the latter. They also influence human character and thought. A man is pleased when he can go beyond the worries and anxieties and daily drudgeries. The pleasure of reading in this sense is quite attractive. It takes the reader much beyond the ordinary business of life and makes him acquainted with the great achievements of the master minds of different ages.
Two main ways of reading books : The question as to how books are to be read depends on our purpose of reading. We read books for appearing at the examinations, for self-improvement and for recreation. Each has its own particular way of reading. But there are two main ways of reading books. Books can be read either intensively or extensively. Intensive reading may make one narrow minded. Hence it should be supplemented by a course of varied readings in many subjects. On the other hand, an extensive reader should have mastery over a particular subject so that he may not be too pedantic and superficial.
A medium of pleasure and instruction: A modern man is very busy. She/He needs recreation, but she/he has little time for prolonged studies. Reading is to them a light work at leisure hours for recreation. They are also in many cases educative. Pleasure comes from knowledge, no doubt. Knowing something is an immense Pleasure pleasure. Reading as a pastime or the pleasure of reading either through imagination or through the acquisition of knowledge.
Careful selection of books : Books are many, but our hours for reading are very few. to derive pleasure from reading at leisure, we should make a careful selection of book. All printed matters are not full of wisdom and Pleasure. Some books are good and contribute to our education. They broaden our minds and give us knowledge of men lands and things. But others are not so. To choose good books is no less difficult than choosing good friends. Then happiness of life and formation of character depend on a wise selection of books to study. We should read only those books which enlighten the mind, quicken the imagination and suggest to the mind materials to work upon. Every sensible person should read his/her respective religious book not to appease religious sentiment only but to gain the basic ideas about life and world and about the right code of living to follow. We can read and re-read the great classics, the works of great poets, dramatists, historians, novelists, story writers, philosophers and thinkers of world to gain immense pleasure and knowledge. Reading can be immensely pleasing if the works are found out and picked up suiting the temperament and taste of the reader.
Reading books in the right way: If we want to profit by reading, we must be careful not only in selecting proper books, but also in reading them aright. The same book will affect the readers differently according to the spirit in which they are read. “The butterfly first over the flower-bed gathering nothing the spider collects poison from it; but the bee finds and stores up honey from them. The child takes off the lid of a tea-kettle for sport, the housewife for domestic use; but James Watt for science, which ended in the improvement of the steam engine. Reading can be immensely pleasing if the works are found out and picked up suiting the temperament and taste of the reader.
Books, the best friends : Books give company to a lonely person. They soothe and console a deceived friend or lover. They never betray anyone. They give innocent pleasure and encourage the most hopeless person in the moment of crisis. There is no probability to pick a quarrel with anyone, and one can be free and sincere, with these friends.
A good habit : Reading at leisure is undoubtedly and unquestionably the best form of pastime. The pleasure of reading is timeless. It cannot grow old. Besides giving us pleasure this habit gives up knowledge, insight, wisdom, control over mind and other abstract higher human qualities. Best of all, it creates a boundless personal world in the mind of the reader and in that new world he can satisfy his whims, fancies and fads without being disturbed by anyone. This is because books are the best and living friends of men.
Conclusion : The more the number of the people in a country who get pleasure in reading, the more the probability that the nation will advance fast in every line. There are for example, far more people who find pleasure in reading in the developed countries like the USA, the UK, France and Germany than there are in such developing countries like Bangladesh. India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This fact exemplifies one reason why those countries are developed and those are not. Therefore, our aim should be to interest ourselves in reading as much as possible.