Advantage, Reader

Advantage, Reader

Mark Twain is known to have once said, "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them."

True, reading is an extremely potent instrument of self-development. Once, when I was in fourth grade my class teacher said to class, "Books are your best friends. They will remain with you forever and you can turn to them always". After all these years, I can only say that I testify to this statement.

Now, in order to make good books available to the residents of Thane, a unique kind of book exhibition has been launched – the one that travels. Known as Granth Tumcha Bhetila, this "Mobile Book Exhibition cum Sale" is a boon for booklovers from Thane.

This uncommon endeavour has been initiated by four single-minded individuals: Jayant Pawar, Bhatu Sawant, Vikas Doke and Prashant Dingankar. There is a gleam in the eyes of all four that speaks of will to succeed against all odds. The clarity of their vision, and the social cause driving it, is heartwarming. According to Pawar, "We are not in it for money. We can make a lot more in alternate professions. What drives us is the vision of expanding the reading culture among the people."

And their efforts already seem to be showing results. Each of their stops has been a huge success with a terrific response from local residents. "Parents are delighted with our exhibition. Most of them are concerned about the declining habit of reading among their children – especially the impact of TV", says Sawant.

The books displayed, although predominantly in Marathi, cover a wide variety of topics including reading, drawing, health, beauty, cooking, spirituality, astrology, fiction, self-help and management. In short, there are books for everyone. There is a section with English books also.

The exhibition has had some really prominent people as its visitors, among them, Satish Pradhan, film actor Shailendra Gaur (of Veer Savarkar Fame) and Principal Ashok Chitnis.

The first exhibition was held at Brindaban Society. Since then, they have been receiving invitations from all over. They have already covered twelve important areas in Thane, including Vasant Vihar, Kopri Colony, Singhania Complex, Kolbad and Lokmanya Nagar. The last exhibition was held near Gaondevi Maiden.

So impressed is Satish Pradhan with the noble cause that he has offered space outside his office near Teen Hath Naka (Thane’s old flyover) for the exhibition’s next stop. Their next display with fresh stock is scheduled to begin from February 22, 2002.

When asked how they thought of a mobile book exhibition, Pawar answered, "We have been associated with Sahitya Yatra exhibitions for some time now. While reading an opinion book kept at one of the exhibitions, we realized that most people wish to spend more time at book exhibitions and want to bring along their family and friends too. But distance often prevents them from visiting book exhibitions. So we decided to take the book exhibition to readers".

"Reading is like an infectious disease: it is caught not taught", writes Christine Nuttall. These young men are doing everything to spread the disease that is best left uncontrolled!


Why is reading important?

Recent research has shown the many advantages which regular readers have over non-readers. Here are a few examples:

Readers Non-Readers
Can more easily consider complex and abstract issues Are less able to cope with complex and abstract issues
Possess an extended vocabulary, use interesting sentences and ideas Have limited vocabulary, and use simplistic, shallow sentences
Have developed thinking processes, and a rich inner world of thoughts; able to reflect on, analyze and make sense of experiences Are often unable to develop beyond concrete thinking; have limited inner world of thoughts, ideas and experiences
Are enthusiastic about new ideas and experiences offered in books or films Are unenthusiastic, have limited responses to new ideas
Are patient, resourceful Are often impatient
Are imaginative and creative Have limited creativity, and a dependence on a factual, literal approach

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