A Habit for a Good Life

A Habit for a Good Life

Good reading habits are becoming rare in these days, especially among the youngsters. Proliferation of TV channels has adversely affected the reading habits of school students, who are invariably hooked up to cartoon shows and other programmes on TV.

In spite of the Internet explosion and the boom in the electronic media, reading remains the most effective way of building up a good thinking mind. When you read, you get loads of benefits. You improve your vocabulary; build up the mechanics of your writing; perfect your spelling; increase speed of your reading and expand your comprehension. You even become more creative, besides increasing your knowledge!

Experts suggest that proficient readers are strategic thinkers. They use what they already know and what the text says to construct meaning. Senior American Scientist Isabel Beck defines constructing meaning as "being able to explain information, connect it to previous knowledge, and use that information."

So how does one go about improving his/her reading skills? The answer is simple: practice! And summer vacations are a good time to practice.

One way to inculcate a habit of reading is to join a nearby circulating library where you can borrow books of your choice. Signing up with a reading library (like the Indian Library in Thane) is also a good idea as it offers an excellent ambience for reading along with a great collection of books and periodicals.

One good thing about reading is you can do it anywhere, anytime: in study halls, at home, during lunch, while travelling. The important thing is to just try and get into the habit of reading often. Just make up your mind to read, say, at least ten pages a day, every day of the holidays.

Parents who wish to inculcate the habit of reading in their children should look out for various reading events such as reading workshops, book reading sessions and story-telling sessions.

Story telling sessions are frequently organised by Thane’s Paperback Book Store. In fact from April 13, 2003, there would be a one-hour session every Sunday at 11:00 am. "Stories from the Panchtantra, the Harry Potter series and Rudyard Kipling’s works will be read out to boys and girl aged between 7 and 14 years", reveals B Mahesh of Paperback. Every fourth Sunday, a skit is performed by the kids based on original stories scripted by themselves. For more information on these story-telling sessions, readers may contact Paperback on 2545 0541.

A reading workshop is also good way to motivate students to do some independent reading on their own. Enthusiasm is contagious. Students learn to love reading as they watch others enjoying reading and interacting with texts. Reading workshop allows students a choice in what they read and provides time for independent reading.

Reading workshops are organised from time to time by various clubs, libraries and other not-for-profit bodies. One such workshop is being held between April 05 and April 10 at at Shiv Samarth Vidyalaya in Thane. Every morning on each of those six days, participants would be exposed to the wonderful world of books. This workshop is open to students from class VII to Class X. The primary medium for this workshop would be Marathi.

The workshop will include reading and writing exercises and guest lectures from prominent Marathi personalities such as Sampada Joglekar (TV actress), Anupama Ujgare (poet) and Prof. Meena Gurjar (HOD, Marathi Dept. Siddharth College). These guest lecturers will share their experience of reading good books, discuss famous authors and their works and generally create interest among the participants.

Entry Forms for this workshop are available at Majestic Book Depot, which is jointly promoting the event. In order to encourage the reading habit, the book store will offer a 20 per cent discount on all its books to each participant of the workshop up to May 31, 2003. Readers may contact 2533 0951 for further details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *