A Buddhist monk was traveling with his collection of books through a river, in a small boat. Without warning, a sudden storm came and the boat was overturned. The Boatman tried to rescue the monk, but he pleaded,
“Don’t try to rescue me. Please save the books. They are much valuable than me.”
Anyone who is into reading can understand the attitude of the monk. Others may feel that the story is an exhibition of bookaholic madness, but I think it upholds the value of knowledge and the sacrifice of a selfless person to save it for future generations.
The Influential force
It is widely agreed that reading is a deeply influencing process that changes a person completely. It shapes an individual and changes his outlooks.
Books have the power to develop clear thinking, refine culture, inspire philosophy and right outlook in a person. Moreover, they help to improve linguistic abilities.
It is therefore very important to show discretion while selecting books. As they have more influential power than a soul mate, meticulous selection should be involved while choosing them.
Being such a powerful medium, we have to take good care in using it. That is where the philosophy of reading comes in.
Getting maximum out of books
Reading is an active process. it requires dedication and complete attention of the reader. If the attention falters, the process becomes useless.
It is a well-known fact that reading is a mental exercise. As with any form of exertion, it should make a person sweat. Without difficulty, there is no benefit.
Many people choose to read thrillers for the ease of reading them. But the books that contain great wisdom are usually long and difficult to comprehend. Active reading is important to imbibe the essence of such books.
Those who are stuck in one genre miss out on a great world of wonder and knowledge.
Avoiding Gumption Traps
Nevertheless, reading tough books alone can have a detrimental effect on the gumption for reading. This is a very sad outcome.
To overcome this gumption trap, two books can be read in parallel; one easy and enjoyable and the other little more intellectually challenging. Thus when we hit a wall with the tough one, we can fall back to the easy other and get reading move forward.
Sharing the knowledge
It is a great exercise to talk about the books that you have read to someone. This helps to cement the idea in us while helping the listener to acquire knowledge about something that he could not read.
Another great way to learn about good books and share new ideas is book clubs. Here we can find people with varied interest who can introduce us to different genres and likeminded ones with whom we can debate our ideas.
Saving the knowledge
The area where we should focus more on is the reading habit of the next generation. It is imperative that we make them interested in the process.
A child should be introduced to reading through books suited to their age, starting from comics. A free environment should be facilitated by which they naturally get interested in different genres.
Thus a reading habit can be nurtured in children which will reap the great benefits in their future.
Following the Monk
The protagonist in the story realized that it is a great crime to humanity to put himself above the perennial wisdom. Surely it requires a monk to think so.
However, we can imbibe the attitude and learn to respect the wisdom of ages. At least we can treasure the knowledge and hand it down to future generations.
Thank you for reading. Please post your valuable comments in the comment box below