Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Type of hobbies – Reading

Reading is perhaps the most widely adopted hobby the world over. One may find people in waiting at airport or bus/railway terminals reading books or newspapers. The hobby is equally popular in school children when the start o read smaller books, and from here their love for reading takes a start. As one grows in age, the habit of reading also matures and from romantic novels, one turns to serious reading.
I remember my school days when reading the famous Readers’ Digest was our passion and within a couple of days of its arrival, we would have completely read it from one end to the other. Besides Readers’ Digest, comics and classics were our favourite pastime. I still remember the poor Sad Sack and his brute Serge, the Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, Little Lotta, Archie, Richie Rich and many others that abounded our bookracks. Since in those days TV had not come to our part of the world, our entire leisure was comics based.
When I grew up, James Hadley Chase, Harold Robins and Sidney Sheldon became my regular reading and I read almost every book of these authors that was available. Good days of reading and enjoying. AS life went on, newspapers, magazines and tabloids were added to my reading list. Thorn Birds and Alchemist became my favourite readings. Once as a young man, I was posted at Skasar, an isolated hilltop station near Sargodha. While on duty, I used to confined to a dark room with big radar screens for eight hours, the beauty of my duty was that every third day was a complete day off. Since there wasn’t much to move about, I would visit the small library and take as many books as I could. I read a lot of Agatha Christie and James Hadley Chase stuff there for three months and I really enjoyed reading.
Reading as a pastime introduces one to the history, the world of literature and art and a world of romance. It goes by you and follows your shadows in many forms as I discussed above.  Reading is perhaps the best pastime readily available at all times and anywhere. One doesn’t have to specially get ready to read – it is just the matter of picking anything and reading. Reading the same subject written by different authors gives us an insight as how the same matter can be presented in a different way and in different words. And this also helps us to shape and reshape our own thought process and perception of life and existence.
The paperbacks are very common as these are cheaper and lighter to carry. One would often see tourists and passengers carrying paperbacks and enjoying their reading and thus passing the travel time which may otherwise become hard to kill. Even when one is on vacation, a favourite book in a candle light out in wilderness is a treat and delight long not to be forgotten.
Internet provides a much wider, easily accessible and perhaps the cheapest source of reading. Internet is loaded with so much of knowledge and information that keeps a large number of people glued to their screens and find whatever they are looking for. From trash and junk to science, technology, art and literature, there is a sea of knowledge hidden in this tiny iron box – waiting to be explored and made use of.
Libraries and internet provide a basic source of reading. But roadside stalls also sell second hand books for those who cannot buy new books or do not have access to libraries or internet. But whatever source one may explore, reading has its own fun and joy. It is not wrong when people say that book is a man’s best friend.


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