Pleasures of Reading
Means of Entertainment
There are several means of recreation and entertainment. Most of the means in this regard are crude or replete with fatal flaws. Take, for instance, adventure games, mountaineering, etc. To crack jokes is now considered a mark of low breeding of all the means of getting healthy and soulful pleasure is the pleasure of reading. Nowadays, we have a lot of reading material in the form of books, magazines, journals, newspapers, comics, etc. Much of this material is directed to some specific target or is just a temporary phase. For instance, books magazines, etc. pertaining of specific subject’s trade, industry, and profession such as science, art, tourism, management, tailoring, etc. or concerning some university, school board or competitive examination, etc. Such books are not of common interest.
The most useful benefits along with genuine pleasure can be derived by reading the immortal books on literature, history, etc. written by the great masters particularly those of the past who are no more. Such are the books of poetry, drama, essays, stories, travelogues, history, etc.
Rightly has the famous Lake poet Southey said –
“My days among the dead are past;
Around me I behold!
Wherever these casual eyes are cast,
The mighty minds of old.
My never-failing friends are they,
with whom I converse day by day.”
Chief purpose – pleasure through the truth of life and nature
Throughout the history of man, the most absorbing “moments of intellect” have been the great scriptures that have provided spiritual guidance to man as well as mental satisfaction and peace which is the highest form of spiritual pleasure.
Then we have the great books of poetry, drama, fiction, etc. written by great masters such as Kalidas, Shakespeare, Milton, Homer, Valmiki, Tulsidas, Surdas, Prem Chand, Tagore, etc.
Great books of literature give us glimpses of the undying truth of life. As the chief aim of books is to provide everlasting pleasure through the truth of life and nature, all other considerations are secondary. Only we should select books for reading most carefully and judiciously.