KATHMANDU, FEBRUARY 28
Your penchant for reading says a lot about you – whether you’re conservative or liberal, supportive of feminist and social movements, or believe in LGBTQ rights. While your reading preference reveals your personality, what you read in turn shapes you as a person. Often, even the most orthodox people change their outlook on life after reading a powerful book. Thus, the power, reach and influence of reading should not be underestimated.
Beginning in my childhood, I started with fairy tales and children’s books. As a teenager, I mostly read light fiction, which included mystery novels, namely detective stories. Agatha Christie was my favorite author, and I also delved into the English classics.
When I was 20, I took up literary fiction with great enthusiasm.
Novels and short stories were my favorite reads. However, when I reached my thirties, the subjects of my books diversified. I explored non-fiction books and as a result gained a lot of knowledge on topics such as psychology and other social sciences.
Today I try to be as diverse as possible when reading. Besides books, I read articles on my mobile while scouring social media sites for the latest news and happenings. But more importantly, I read literary essays, which helped shape my perception of English literature.
From articles in Psychology Today to narrative essays in Literary Hub, I’ve discovered a new enthusiasm for essays.
When people read fiction, they interact creatively and critically with the authors. Fiction readers develop a strong sense of empathy when relating to fictional characters. On the other hand, reading non-fiction brings knowledge, expertise and information on various topics, whether they concern our career or not.
People also read for comfort or to escape something or as a coping mechanism. Especially lately, when people have lost a loved one or loved one, people have turned to literature as a coping mechanism. This shows the positive effect that literature has on us. In particular, young minds are shaped by the books they read.
From folk tales and fiction to biography and memoir, it is important for young students to be as diverse as possible when it comes to their readings.
The ubiquity of the internet, social media and the smart phone means that today one can read by simply scrolling through online platforms. It is the digital age that calls for technologically smart decisions to catch up with the latest developments.
And technology can be used to diversify our readings.
The next time you swipe your phone or electronics, be sure to read short articles, stories, and essays.
A version of this article appears in the March 1, 2022 printing of The Himalayan Times.