From our world, to another…

Heedless of what language it takes the form of, the matt black undulations upon the meek paper lies like a path. Sometimes it is a vivid path, transporting their beholders featurearticleto alternate dimensions, to ethereal locations. Sometimes, it is a bleak, sullen path, unravelling the inevitable reality of the social stigma of the time it was conceived.

Nevertheless, they are all stories: a parturition of a world imagined by the author, and a tale witnessed upon the front lines by the many intrepid explorers, those wishing to escape their own drab world, the readers.

Herein lies the most wondrous part of reading. A book is so unique in its own essence, just as it is equally unique in the minds of every reader: each setting, each character, each emotion perceived differently by every mind, as distinct as one’s own fingerprint. The author sets a canvas in the form of a story, whilst the reader’s mind provides the paint to bring it to life. The ability to illustrate in one’s mind the world depicted by the author hones the creative capabilities of an individual. Discovering new plots and descriptions of places adds to this effect too.

In addition, by simply essaying the writing of a renowned author, one can inherit great linguistic knowledge. Whether it is syntax, setting the atmosphere, or just the eclectic variety of vocabulary, reading unlocks a treasure trove of new knowledge in terms of writing, enriching the work of any young author. Also, extensive reading can fortify an individual’s comprehension skills, resulting in a better understanding of various texts. These skills are particularly useful whilst taking an examination, be it English, or any other subject, as the ability to effectively comprehend and convey is essential in any test, and crucial for life beyond them too.

Furthermore, reading books provides kids a taste of the numerous cultures and opinions of people across the world, so they are not baffled as they are finally, one day, exposed to the ideologies and thoughts of the different people they might have to encounter, making them better prepared. It allows them to test the waters, before they dive into the wild eddies of the current world, enabling them to tread the tumultuous waters.

Moreover, reading also increases awareness and focus, not to mention memory, over a longer period of time, training one’s brain to be sharper and healthier, equipping it with abilities of great concentration and remembrance.

However, it must not be forgotten that reading not only comprises of fictional work, but also non-fictional pieces of writing. There are no boundaries to the academic and general knowledge that can be obtained from reading non-fictional writing. For instance, the knowledge that can be gleaned from the experts in various fields by simply reading their writing (in the form of autobiographies, or even interviews) is incomparable to any textbook. Reading the newspaper is another one such form of writing. This kindle political awareness in the young adults of the country, tailoring them to become responsible citizens of the new world, allowing their voice to be the voice of an informed population.

Reading has been, for reasons stated before, an age-old pastime through the years; it would be difficult to imagine a world without the familiarity of books, of the places one could get lost in while exploring volumes. The joy of reading springs forth from this, the fact that with every turn of a page, the reader finds themselves in entirely different worlds, gearing up for adventure with characters that one begins to share a kinship with, falling headlong into the story and wishing for this magic never to end.

For it is a sort of magic, reading: the sort of magic that everyone deserves to experience. It is the sort of magic that empowers all those who come looking for it. The sort of magic, that has no end, and the allure reading still has, despite resolute competition manifested by technology's advent upon today's world, has yet to fade.

The pleasure derived through simply holding a book is not to be forgotten as well. Devouring the smell of fresh prints, cradling their spines, feeling every contour and plane, listening to that rustle of pages...it is not a mystery as to why books have played such monumental roles in shaping human history.

Across several centuries now, there have been those books, that are also yet to fade in the minds of avid readers. Reading awakens the imagination, and these books do so with such unparalleled mastery, that they are unlikely to diminish in stature anytime soon.

From the seventeenth century's Hamlet to the eighteenth century's Gulliver's Travels, from Emma, Frankenstein, and The Three Musketeers to Wuthering Heights, The Woman In White, and Les Miserables, these books have been staunch companions of those who simply open their covers. Little Women, Through the Looking Glass, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Great Gatsby...while this list is by no means exhaustive, it names some of the most famous works of literature of their time.featurearticle2

So what are you waiting for? Explore the beauty of moors and landscapes with The Secret Garden. Journey with the dwarves in Lord of The Rings. Discover the meanings of loss and injustice through To Kill A Mockingbird. Books keep histories alive, histories of people and places long forgotten in name but never in heart, and there is so much contained inside them. It has not been said in vain, that 'a reader lives a thousand lives before they die'. Because 'books tell the stories of people we don't know, places we haven't been, and worlds we can only imagine'.

There are many, many places awaiting you; there are many, many characters awaiting your attention; and all you have to do, is open a book.

Happy Reading

By-Mahathi Kattamuri and Suhas Kellempalli
About the authors: Mathathi and Suhas of grade 10A are avid readers and exceptional writers!