Thursday, September 10, 2009

Reading is it still trendy?

As a youngster I used to read a lot. I can say that by the time I had crossed the 10th grade (high school). I had read several literary classics and luckily literature for us never meant just English, Hindi, Russian or any particular kind of literature. I read literature from all parts of the world. Most works were of course translations but it still provided a perspective to a different socio-cultural pattern of life. Like all good literature they represented some universal values.
I recall reading Pride and prejudice when I was in the ninth grade and I could understand and relate to the characters whose way of life was totally alien to mine.
I even recall reading Chitralekha, a Hindi novel by Bhagwati Charan Verma, which questioned the line between love and lust and by means of its principal protagonists managed to convey that the line between good and bad is thin and at anytime one can cross it.
I think reading these kind of books gave me a broader perspective on life. I wonder if this kind of love of reading still exists with the current generation. Even when I was in school I can't say that I had many of my classmates showing the same love for books as I had. But yes I did have some friends who had this kind of love for reading.
Among the present generation I don't find even one person who has the same love for books! I recall communicating with a youngster who stated that he would throw all books in the dust-bin; he seemed to have forgotten that without books he wouldn't be in a position to even express those thoughts. Through books we learn our basics. Please respond if you are a book lover it is quite pleasant to come across a like minded person.


  1. Even a non book lover will agree with your views that " reading books gives much broader perspective of Life" but your statement that " you don't find even one person who has the same love for books" is a very generalised statement , yes the number of people in current generation are much lesser than past generations and its coming down with each passing generations .

    We got to understand why ..... and i am sure more than my views there will be some book in some part of the world which will explain it better .

    Interest towards books are coming down due to some of the reasons mentioned below.

    A) Books provide info - More and more media/ sources of info in current generations than past.
    B) Academic Curriculum : The academecic curriculum of current generations is far more demanding than past.
    C) Patience : Reading books needs definately one quality in a person that Patience which is much lower than what it was in past ... has its reflections in music ( fast track) , Behaviour , lingo ( more abbreviations )

    But good you wrote about books and if your views can persuade even one person to develop a liking towards books - it will do a lot good to the person own life

  2. Thanks for your observations, while I do agree to some of your views, yes media has definitely taken the place of books. I disagree about the academic curriculum part of it as often I have found the younger generation smart but they may not have much depth of knowledge. ( this is a generalised statement and I know many whose knowledge surpasses any expectations). Curriculum was equally difficult with many difficult topics. I even recall that in my high school days I gave my board exams that combined the courses of two years, whereas at present the course material has considerably reduced. Earlier we did not have access to the internet and the present generation has access to it. To the rest of your comments I fully agree.

  3. Nope i do not agree that the media or anything can give you the same flavor as the books ...I remember i used to read story books only to feel the flavor of the pages ....and to top that if the book was new:)...I am a teacher and i have seen even today there are students who love reading and they read with the same intensity....the times you are referring to is perhaps when you were a student ..i remember in my class too there were limited number who took keen interest in reading ...:)

  4. Well Shephali at that time the, "limited number" to quote you was still more as compared to the present, because today it is easier to find jobs without completing your education as compared to the past, when even a clerk used to hold a Masters degree. Today undergraduates make as much as 20k a month and they do not feel any need to read except for things that would financially benefit them.

  5. Laya I think it's about one's interest in a particular subject....A science student would be more interested in a Stephen Hawking than in the Austen's masterpiece...A person with his/her heart on language literature would go other way round...From our preparatory classes to the end of our studies, we are reading one book or the other. One can't restrict oneself to a particular genre! In this age of competition you have to be well read. Youngsters are reading a lot these days, though I am doubtful how much they are absorbing from them...Paradoxically, it has become more of a fashion amongst college-goers. North campus of Delhi University is full of vendors selling classics at lucrative prices. Also, I have seen many young people carrying thick novels while travelling in metro but honestly don't know whether they pretend to be intellectuals or actually they read them...People are reading for sure, but not focusing only on language literature and classics....they are rather exploring and experimenting with different subject related literatures.

  6. Thanks Nidhi for updating me with the trends followed by youngsters. In fact I was so out-of- touch with youngsters like I was in my college days, that I used to wonder, "has this generation completely changed?", but it seems there are people like me. I do agree with you that people will often read what makes sense to them. Give me deep theories of Physics and I won't understand.