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The Reader's Tale

A couple of days ago, I did something I haven't done in far too long: I picked up a random book out of the large collections that my parents have assembled over the years and began reading. Of late, I've spent most of my time watching videos and checking social media. I'd almost forgotten what it felt like to hold an actual, physical book in my hands and read (frankly, I was surprised I remembered how to turn a page).

The book, as it happened, was Jeffery Archer's "A Prisoner of Birth". Personally, I haven't read a whole lot of his books, but intend to do so now. But I digress. The point is, reading the book was so much better - several orders of magnitude better - than any video I've ever watched.

Needless to say, I finished the book in two days. Not because it was a great book - although it was - but simply because, after all these days of allowing the grey matter to turn brown with rust, I was finally exercising my intelligence and expanding my mind. I can tell you, it's a wonderful feeling. I'm also vaguely proud to say that for the past couple of days, when I plugged my phone in to charge at night, it was still 80% charged - compared to 10 or 12% before I began reading again.

Reading a book to me is like a short trip to another universe - and this is probably one of the main reasons I don't read the books that are currently popular very much. When I read a book, I want to be transported to a universe that is nicer than the one I'm currently in. It's also the reason I don't watch horror movies very much. Why would you go voluntarily to a place that isn't as nice as the one you're already in? For reasons that I am entirely at a loss to comprehend, however, that seems to be what my classmates (the ones that read matter consisting of more than just school textbooks, that is) are into right now. I've always felt that that says something rather scary about my generation. 

In closing, my advice to all you wonderful folks is, to quote Roald Dahl:

"So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, 
Go throw your TV set away, 
And in its place you can install 
A lovely bookshelf on the wall. 
Then fill the shelves with lots of books, 
Ignoring all the dirty looks, 
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks, 
And children hitting you with sticks- 
Fear not, because we promise you 
That, in about a week or two 
Of having nothing else to do, 
They'll now begin to feel the need 
Of having something to read. 
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy! 
You watch the slowly growing joy 
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen 
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen 
In that ridiculous machine, 
That nauseating, foul, unclean, 
Repulsive television screen! 
And later, each and every kid 
Will love you more for what you did." 

P.S. Once again, I apologize for my long absence, this time because I was off trekking in Yercaud.

P.P.S. I have added a different commenting widget to my blog now (look below), so all of you who said you couldn't comment because you were required to log in to your Google+ account, I now expect activity from you. If I don't see any, I, Ritvik Mandyam, will look at you accusingly. As always, thanks for reading. Also, please share this blog so your friends can read it and (hopefully) be amused by it. 


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