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The Magic of Books

Michelle Carolyn Monday, July 12, 2021
The Magic of Books

“Books break the shackles of time – proof that humans can work magic.” - Carl Sagan

Indeed, a good book has the power to hold its reader with thrill from the first page to the last and it’s agonizing to know that almost 86.3% of the world’s population (above the age of 15) remain illiterate and are unable to taste the pleasure of reading a truly captivating book. Although many of the people whom I have met enjoy reading books, there are some who have surprised me when they casually tell “There are much more enjoyable things than reading”. I have known no better pleasure than holding a fat book in my hands to enjoy reading in a cozy and quiet corner in my room.

Reading is a hobby which almost every person I have met encourages and there are some very famous authors who have made this a point in their books. For example, in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ written by Roald Dahl, there is an annoying character in the book by the name Mike Teavee. As his name suggests, he is a crazy TV-addict and doesn’t even bother to answer the questions posed to him by the journalists as a famous youth who has found the 4th Golden Ticket (which means that now he will have a chance to visit Mr. Willy Wonka’s superb chocolate factory). In fact, the journalists and interviewees find themselves faced with this nine-year-old boy glued in front of a simply enormous television set. They get yelled at with rather rude words which actually shows that watching useless cartoons for a long time can affect the brain and cause annoyance and anger. When the boy visits the factory, he gets removed from it towards the end of the story because of his sheer disobedience to Mr. Wonka. When he was no longer in the factory, the Oompa-Loompas (A fictional, small person. A tribe of them work in Mr. Wonka’s fantastic chocolate factory), sing a little limerick about him, where they point out beautifully the harm TV can do to the tender brain of a child and the immense amount of advantages books can contribute to the development and mental growth of a young kid.

Dr. Seuss, author of educational and light-hearted poems and book, always has this line printed on the front cover of all his books

‘Learn to Read, Read to Learn’. How true! It might sound like just a play with words but it’s actually not. Indeed, you can learn so much more than you think by reading books, especially educational ones but even the fictional works. It’s definitely a true statement and I just wish that everyone would know the truth of it too.

As far as I can remember, the first books I have read were comics. My mother encouraged me to read the copies of Tinkle we had at home which had once belonged to her when she was little. I recall reading only the stories in the comics which did not exceed more than 1 or 2 pages. The only ones I found that finished their story in atleast 1 page were the Suppandi jokes and other short stories.

When all those were finished being read, I realized that there were much more interesting tales depicted in small, colorful illustrations that exceeded my limit. My great-grandmother had got an amazing picture encyclopedia for me when I was only a couple of months old so that I could read it as I grew up. And ever since I was a little LKG kid till now, I have always loved the big pictures and the mind-blowing facts typed inside little boxes. It is truly an amazing book and a must for any avid reader. A peculiar fact that I found in this heavy and burly book was that no matter how many times I would have read it over and over again, I always find something new and absolutely fascinating. People say that books are magical items and I guess they mean it figuratively, but in this case, I mean it literally. There is some mysterious character in this book which reveals something completely new every time to the flabbergasted reader. It’s, beyond doubt, very pleasing.

And so my journey of reading began.

I began to read tales written by Enid Blyton, such as the Twiddle series when I was around six. I always took a copy of this Twiddle book to school so that I can read it during the substitution periods. I was completely delighted with Mr. Twiddle’s silly acts and his sensible wife who was always annoyed with him. I also read many other short stories whose authors I cannot remember but whose stories continued to enchant me and take me to a world of my own.

My parents continued to get me many other books, most of which I still read and love. Some examples of those are Famous Five, Secret Seven and the Mystery Series, all by Enid Blyton, Adventure Stories by Arup Kumar Dutta and some classics like Kim, Treasure Island, Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Christo, Kidnapped, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, King Solomon’s Mines and many, many more. These classics which I have just mentioned were actually gifted by my grandparents to my mother on her twelfth birthday. It’s surprising that they are all still intact and are still in active use.

Many of my favorite books include biographies and autobiographies about immensely famous people who have made a difference in their generations. Some of them include – ‘A Chance to Die’ by Elizabeth Elliot (biography of Amy Beatrice Carmichael, ‘The Little Woman’ autobiography of Gladys Aylward, ‘If I Perish….’ Autobiography of Esther Ahn Kin, and so much more.

I understand that many of us are incapable of buying books because of lockdown and curfews and E-reading just does not work out, I strongly advise buying a Kindle. I got one for my 11th Birthday and I just do not know what I would have done without it. Only with that, have I been able to survive a year and a half in lockdown.

Reading on a Kindle is certainly not similar to E-reading as I had imagined it. Firstly, you don’t have to gaze at a spectacular, bright light in order to atleast catch a few words from the book. There is an option to dim the light on the screen and the lowest level (which I use) makes the book page on the Kindle look like any old hard-copy of a book. However, there is a complete lack of satisfaction when you simply click the screen on the right to jump to the next page instead of slowly flipping the page you have last read to the next and hear the sharp sound of the pages while you do so. But overall, I think a Kindle is definitely worth buying, especially since we’re all stuck at our homes, probably reading the same books over and over again. So I encourage you all to please give it a go.

Well, with that, you might wonder why have I said all these things in this article. The reasons are simple and you would have heard them often.

?It develops you mind

?It improves you language skills and helps you to communicate better

?Reading light-hearted and humorous stories or poems can reduce stress

?You get to know much more knowledge around you

?Your writing skills will improve tremendously

?You can use more words to express your feelings accurately

?The memorizing capacity of your brain will advance

?Your analytical thinking skills will be high

?Reading on a particular subject can lead to expertise in that field

?Priceless entertainment

?More focus and concentration on studies

And with that, we come to the end of this article. If you haven’t developed a reading habit yet, I hope my endeavors to develop one in you through this article will not go to waste. So, what are you waiting for? Close your device and go grab a book!

Michelle Carolyn
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