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Unlocking the Power of Reading books in the Digital Age

SUMON REZA

Published: 13:53, 9 April 2024

Update: 17:09, 9 April 2024

Unlocking the Power of Reading books in the Digital Age

Photo : Messenger

Reading books is the most antique habits which ultimately changes the way of human beings living and enrich the civilization also. As history says, it's the oldest legacy that the civilization still carries. People of the ancient ages had a very limited mediums for entertainment as well as gathering knowledge.

So they used to spend their leisures with books. But as the world is changing gradually so this habit also meet changes. But the utmost change is not that much positive as people are gradually going out of the warm touch of books. This is indeed alarming and at the same time very relevant as the time demands it for the sake of good and prosperity.

Actually, in an era dominated by screens and digital distractions, the humble act of reading a book seems to be fading into obscurity. The infatuation of four cornered screen grabs our creativity and consequently it's effect is clear in the society where it lacks morality.

With smartphones in every pocket and social media platforms vying for our attention, the value of sitting down with a good book might appear diminished. However, now more than ever, the importance of reading books remains paramount in shaping our minds, expanding our horizons, and fostering empathy and understanding in an increasingly interconnected world.

And the decline in reading among the younger generation has been attributed to several factors, including the rise of digital distractions such as social media, video games, and streaming platforms. And a generation is engaged in making videos, creating toxic TikTok videos, contents, reels and so on. Which ultimately badly effects the society. This malpractice is spreading rapidly as the young ones gradually forgetting our very own tradition, culture, morality and societal ethics so far. Not reading books is a major reason behind all these too.

But why reading books are important? Question may arise by the modern generation when they very easily can get every informations they require through internet and so on. But yet, despite modern facilities the real importance of reading books is really important for the sake of the society. When we see that people specially youths are not in the good, civilized truck rather they are indulged in a strange world where they even have no moral scene. Hence, it's not possible to change the whole scenario by only reading but through it, it's quite possible to change the truck into a positive wave. Which, now an emergency to resist arrogant and ruthless generations.

Why reading is important? First and foremost, reading books serves as a gateway to knowledge and intellectual growth. Unlike the ephemeral nature of online content, books offer a depth of insight and analysis that cannot be easily replicated in other formats. From history to science, philosophy to literature, books provide a comprehensive exploration of complex subjects, allowing readers to delve deeply into topics and gain a nuanced understanding that transcends surface-level information.

Moreover, the act of reading fosters critical thinking skills essential for navigating the complexities of the modern world. As readers engage with diverse perspectives and encounter challenging ideas, they are prompted to question assumptions, evaluate evidence, and form their own informed opinions. In an age of misinformation and echo chambers, the ability to think critically and discern fact from fiction is more crucial than ever.

Let's see what are the basic disadvantages faced by a person who not reads. Not reading books can lead to several disadvantages:
1. Limited knowledge: Without reading books, you miss out on valuable information, insights, and perspectives. 
2. Poor vocabulary and language skills: Reading helps improve vocabulary, grammar, and language comprehension.
3. Reduced critical thinking skills: Books often present different viewpoints and challenge readers to think critically, analyze situations, and develop problem-solving skills. 
4. Limited imagination and creativity: Reading stimulates imagination and creativity by exposing readers to new ideas, worlds, and possibilities. 
5. Hindered empathy and understanding: Books allow readers to empathize with characters from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. 
6. Missed relaxation and stress reduction: Reading can be a form of relaxation and escapism, providing a break from the stresses of daily life. 

Overall, the absence of reading can have significant drawbacks in personal development, intellectual growth, cultural development, self development and overall well-being.

Beyond intellectual benefits, reading books also nurtures empathy and emotional intelligence. Through the pages of a novel, readers are transported into the lives and experiences of characters from different backgrounds, cultures, and time periods. This immersive journey fosters empathy by allowing readers to see the world through the eyes of others, thereby broadening their perspective and fostering a greater appreciation for diversity and inclusivity.

What are the real pictures about this? Do people really read books? Yes, people reads books but the question is what they are reading? The answer is most of the people specially the students and job seekers are reading books but they only read academic or job realted guide books. Who else is reading creative books? The real scenario of almost all of the public libraries of the country is the same. The year old historical books preserved in the libraries mostly remaining untouched and filled with dust. It's tragic so far to think that we are only marching for self employment but not for soul enrichment even not for learning rather to get job or something else. So the exact and real urges are deprived.

When asked about it Md. Shahjahan Kabir Asst. Prof. of History of Govt. Micheal Madhusudon Collage, Jashore and the Founder of ‘Saptahe Ekti Boi Pori’ told The Daily Messenger that, "People are constantly losing themselves in the rush of free information and technology and multifaceted products. The space for healthy thinking, refined taste is shrinking. Smartphones, social media, TikTok, reels, internet addiction, online gaming or drug addiction, teenage outings, especially motorbike racing, are being converted into cheap uncensored entertainment. This is ominous for us. There is no alternative of social movement to turn the new generation towards books again".

Furthermore, the act of reading offers a respite from the constant barrage of digital stimuli, providing an opportunity for quiet reflection and introspection. In a culture characterized by busyness and constant connectivity, carving out time for solitary reading allows individuals to slow down, recharge, and reconnect with themselves on a deeper level.

In light of these benefits, it is imperative that we champion the importance of reading books in our society. 
Schools, libraries, and communities must prioritize literacy initiatives and promote a culture of reading from an early age. Parents, too, play a crucial role in instilling a love of reading in their children by fostering a home environment rich in books and encouraging regular reading habits.

Yet, we see that some organizations are earnestly trying to boost up it. From Biswa Sahitya Kendra by Prof. Abdullah Abu Sayeed to Polan Sarker, Curd seller Ziaul Haque to Md. Shahjahan Kabir’s ‘Saptahe Ekti Boi Pori’ of Jashore and some others are working privately throughout the country. But it's time to think more closely to ensure good future of the country. So Govt. with It's related bodies have to give emphasis in this field. 

At last, as we navigate an increasingly complex and interconnected world, the timeless practice of reading books remains a beacon of enlightenment, empowerment, and empathy. In embracing the power of the written word, we unlock the door to a brighter future—one where knowledge, understanding, and compassion prevail over ignorance and division. So let us turn off our screens, open a book, and embark on a journey of discovery that will enrich our minds and nourish our souls for generations to come.

The Writer is a student of MA final year at National University and a Sub Editor of The Daily Messenger.

Messenger/Sajib

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