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How To Read?

In an era marked by fast-paced digital consumption and fleeting attention spans, the art of reading is facing an unprecedented challenge. Amidst this landscape, a beacon of hope emerges in the form of “வாசிப்பது எப்படி?” (How to Read?) by செல்வேந்திரன், an exploration that traverses the realms of politics, business, education, and science to address the subtle decline in reading habits, particularly in a country like India. This concise yet impactful book takes us on a journey through the corridors of knowledge, urging us to rekindle our love for reading and unlock the transformative power it holds.

In a world increasingly dominated by instant gratification, Selvendiran’s work serves as a clarion call to reevaluate our reading habits and their repercussions on our society. The book cleverly sidesteps the conventional rhetoric of blame, presenting a panoramic view of the real-world problems we face, which are exacerbated by the declining interest in reading. By delving into the crux of the matter, the author demonstrates that the issues plaguing politics, business, education, and science are not isolated incidents but are intrinsically linked to the declining reading culture.

One pressing question arises: Why does a nation like India, which boasts the highest number of readers, struggle with a decline in reading after school and college? Selvendiran postulates that while research may indicate high readership numbers, the focus on academic and research-oriented reading overshadows the dearth of recreational reading. The pivotal drop in readership after the 9th and 10th grades becomes a concern that transcends demographic boundaries. This observation sparks an exploration into the underlying factors contributing to the phenomenon.

Comparing initiatives from countries like UAE and Singapore, where efforts are invested in promoting reading, Selvendiran advocates for a balanced consumption of entertainment and knowledge. Drawing an analogy with dietary habits, he stresses that just as we wouldn’t subsist solely on pizza, we mustn’t solely consume entertainment. The need for variety in reading material becomes paramount, and the book provides insights into bridging the gap between entertainment and enlightening content.

A particularly intriguing anecdote in the book highlights the story of scholarship distribution, underscoring the significance of awareness. Only when people know their entitlements can they strive for them. Selvendiran likens this to the dissemination of information through newspapers and radio. In a world where traditional mediums of news are facing challenges, the book prompts readers to rethink their sources of information and stay informed.

The article champions the role of reading in fostering a well-rounded perspective. By absorbing diverse narratives, readers cultivate a broader worldview, breaking free from narrow stereotypes. The author emphasizes that the act of reading humanizes history, and in understanding the struggles and triumphs of our ancestors, we come to realize the universal bonds that unite humanity.

Celebrities, like actor Soori, who embrace reading, serve as beacons of inspiration. Selvendiran highlights such instances where reading becomes a ritual, a habit that fuels intellectual growth. The book encourages professionals to expand their knowledge beyond their specialized domains, unlocking their untapped potential to contribute to society in multifaceted ways.

“வாசிப்பது எப்படி?” also addresses the modern conundrum of digital distractions. The ease of scrolling through Instagram or other social platforms has led to shorter attention spans. The book suggests that persevering through this initial resistance to longer forms of reading is the key to unveiling a new world of knowledge and understanding.

“வாசிப்பது எப்படி?” serves as a guidepost for reclaiming the vanishing reading culture in India. Through a holistic approach, Selvendiran touches on the multifaceted challenges posed by declining readership and how they echo across society’s facets. The book not only imparts strategies to reignite the love for reading but also illuminates the profound impact it can have on individuals and society at large. As a call to action, it urges readers to transcend the boundaries of their comfort zones, embrace the magic of reading, and embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment.

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