Essay No. 177:
Pleasure Of Reading: People are used to different types of pleasure in life. Some believe in hedonistic pleasure, as they consider life too short to be deprived of it. Their motto: eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. Hence they wish to indulge in merrymaking all the time in utter disregard to the higher objectives in life. Others derive pleasure unconsciously by inflicting pain on their fellow human beings.
They are known as sadists. Some people derive pleasure by parting with their wealth to alleviate sufferings of the poor. They think altruism to be the basis of real pleasure. Yet there is another category of people whose pleasure lies in reading books, journals of their choice. They are the most privileged, who are lost in the world of reading.
The question is: what type of pleasure do they get by reading books. It is rather difficult to answer the question. Pleasure has something to do with mental attitude. It admits no technique of accurate measurement. All the same, there is no denying the fact, that readers of books desire immense mental satisfaction, which they could experience only themselves.
Voracious readers give their leisure to reading books. They do not like to waste it in idle gossip or vain pursuit. They consider the best avenue to utilize their leisure as reading yields to them and comfort and keeps them away from various social evils like backbiting and leg pulling etc. they add new ideas to their mind and it helps widen their mental outlook on life. The process of enrichment of mind starts which leads to the consummation of reader’s personality.
Enrichment of mind is a sine qua non of the growth of knowledge in different fields. It is reflection and thinking which gives rise to new ideas and paves way to discoveries and inventions. The scientific, technological progress owes much to the thinking of scientists. It stimulates fresh thinking and that is how it opens up new possibilities of development.
Research scholars are seen reading books while sitting in libraries. They are buried in reading books of the field of their interest and striking new things, ideas to be reflected in their theses. Their happiness and pleasure increase when they discover something new in the presentation of their thesis. The world of books takes them to the realm of joy and pleasure. Above all, books represent accumulated wisdom of man culled through the experience of centuries.
Those, whose interest lies in reading fiction, are drawn to new arrivals in books shops/stalls. Books on literary fiction have a great fascination for the readers. The English, the French, the Russian Novels get them near the life problems. The readers come across varied type of human conflicts contained in the novels. Literature mirrors life. That’s why life problems. The readers come across varied type of human conflicts contained in the novels.
Literature mirrors life. That’s why life problems are mirrored in novels, which reveal different facets of human nature much to the enjoyment of readers. Novels dealing in tragedy invoke the inner feelings of readers, who sometimes overwhelmed with the tragedy in the end, are made to shed tears. This leads to the catharsis of their pent up emotions.
It sublimates their soul and that is the rich recompense of novel reading. Lovers of poetry, read Ghalib, Mir Taqi Mir, Ahmad Fraz, Nasir Kazmi are the modern popular poets, whose poetry reveals the different aspects of human life, including the tyranny, cruelly grief which appeals to the emotions of the young men. The young, the old are carried away by the deep thoughts running in the poetry of these poets.
A good poetry directly appeals to the human heart. Likewise lovers of English poetry find a lot of solace in the poems of Keats, Shelley, whose reading placates their emotions. In times of depression, the reading of poetry acts as a balm on the lacerated wounds. It reduces the intensity of depression and exposes the reader to the optimism in life. Who could forget about the last line in Shelley’s ‘Ode to the West Wind’, ‘O wind if winter comes, can spring be far behind’.
It generates optimism in man, and that is a great contribution to make man run away from pessimism. The pleasure obtained from the reading of good poetry can’t be described in words. It is somewhat an ethereal feeling which readers could experience themselves. It raises low human spirits to a high level. Can it be called a mean contribution of poetry? Literature on the whole instills love for humanism in man. Its study is a perennial source of delight and pleasure to man.
Reading of books, for the time being, detaches man form the worries and turmoil’s of life. Man has to face problems of life. The cannot afford to show an ostrich’s attitude towards ugly realities of life. Reading of books of one’s own choice can extricate one form cruelties of life. One may call it a route of escapism, but still it has its own efficacy.
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Reading brings one in touch with sweetness and one can forget about the storms of life, through temporarily. It brings light to man’s mind. In other words, whenever one is in a depressed mood, one should better resort to reading a good book to dispel melancholy. Statesmen, despite being frightfully busy, find out time form their pressing packed schedule to read some new literature before retiring to bed.
That not only updates their knowledge but also gives them pleasure to sooth their mind. Book reading is the best companion of man, which not only gives knowledge to him but also is a source of pleasure. It helps iron out mental irritations. Politicians of a high caliber in Pakistan in the past had a great love for reading. To name a few, Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani, Mumtaz Daultana, booked every new arrival for their personal library.
They were all read and knowledgeable. Z.A Bhutto was also a ferocious reader. This trend now seems to be on decline in case of politicians and rulers in the country. They need to cultivate the habit of book reading. Which would expose them to indescribable pleasure, apart from furnishing them with knowledge and learning.
Modern man overburdened with anxieties and worries of life must try to sweeten his moments of life by reading books. Books are the trusted reliable friend of man. Man must cultivate friendship with books to inhale sweetness to counter forces of unpleasantness and bitterness. It is the most innocent past time. Reading brings about pleasure, which must be enjoyed to release mind form the vortex of worries and tension in life. The best way to avoid the latter ills is to engage oneself in reading.
March 18, 2020