Books are a man’s best friend goes the age old adage. It does not discriminate between light-hearted and serious content. I have and even today remain averse to reading textbooks and those prescribed and recommended to score well in examinations, although I love reading novels.
The reason is not far to seek. Story books are invariably based on one’s fantasy or imagination, while textbooks require their content to be understood thoroughly, remembered and reproduced faultlessly when required. But there are people who will pick up anything printed and bound regardless of its content and some among them will not put the book down till they have read the last line of the last page. Such people are probably firm believers of Francis Bacon’s view that reading makes a man.
There is one more reason for these bookworms to rejoice. A recent research claims the life-span of voracious book readers is significantly higher when compared to non-readers. The more you read, the better are your prospects of living a longer life. And this finding has been extended to newspapers and periodicals as well. My neighbour, a very health conscious person, makes it a point to go for an early morning walk well before sunrise. He normally returns an hour or so later with the day’s newspaper and milk packets in hand, but of late, I observed that though he left his house at the usual time, he returned when the sun was right above his head. Curious about what it was that took him so long to complete his routine exercise, I decided to join my friend for the morning walk.
Hardly had we commenced walking, when he stopped near our neighbour’s house and stared at the posters pasted on the compound wall of the house. After reading one poster he moved to the next, till he covered all of them in the route that we took. To my surprise, he even stopped at all the kirana shops on the way.
Intrigued by what he was doing, I quizzed him.
He quoted the report that said voracious readers enjoyed a greater life span, but the study spoke about readers of books, I reminded him. Pat came the reply, “Similar conclusions have been made regarding the routine reading of newspapers and periodicals as well, haven’t you seen that?”
“Yes I have. So What?”
“So obviously, the finding will sooner or later declare that readers of banners and posters too will benefit similarly. As I see them, after all, the posters are only an enlarged version of the pages of books, separated and pasted on walls for our convenience.”
I was stumped for an answer.