Recalling childhood, I found myself indulged deeply in a habit of reading. Inception was by small stories like Aesop fables; and it ranged from fairy tales to thrillers like Imran series. I had books on morals, historic figures like Razia Sultana, Salahuddin Ayubi, Muslim Caliphs and their justice. Of course the choice of books (in those time) was mostly by my mother …. She used to present me books on birthdays or other occasions.
So the seed of reading was sown there in me very early and very deep. Then comes a time when the my books started to age with me. Here comes hardcore literature both English and Urdu, there was chic feminism of Austen, Asmat Chughtai and Amrita Pritam, refined writings of Wilde, Bernard Shaw and Bedi , unconventional fictions by Hardy and taboo by Manto, mysteries by Conan Doyl, classic novels of Hajra Masroor, Razia Butt and Khadija Mastoor or best sellers ranging from Stanley Wolpert’s Zulfi Bhutto of Pakistan to Tehmina Durrani’s My Feudal Lord and so many more all around me, waiting to be explored and I took full advantage of them in my Khalid Uncle’s library. Reading habit was fuel for me in those times . I remember in the hardpacked competitional education days, but I still used to manage some time out for this habit, don’t know why but every read book proved only a drop in the bucket.
Today, when I look around, I hardly find a teenager having such inclination for reading, most aren’t great proponents . They rather consider reading as very primordial or elementary way of killing time. Even the course books aren’t welcomed much. Cable and Internet adds fuel to fire in these circumstances. So, Is the habit of reading dying? though a defence one can give is "World is becoming faster" but internet and other sources of entertainment can never replace books. Acquiring habits is always a personal choice, but it is parents responsibility to provide their child with a stimulating environment or at least any predisposition to certain good habit should be welcomed. Reading books helps not only building imagination & character, but also defines individual’s perspective of society; along with giving depth to his personality. During this habit my process of actualization started and was able to comprehend why Sir Francis Bacon once said “Knowledge is Power”.
Some people these days do manifest liking for the habit, they explicitly tell u about their reading habit, but ironically it only covers newspaper/ magazine reading or some articles of famous journalist. Our society isn’t only lacking this regular disposition but is depriving itself from knowledge that these books can provide us. We are proactive in becoming ‘informed’ and overlooking the part called ‘knowledge ’. Both must go hand in hand, otherwise this shortcoming can always be exploited.