” Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. ” – Joseph Addison
My first post. I’ll take this wonderful opportunity of writing my first post to give a brief introduction of myself. I am a 25 year old middle-class woman fresh out of medical school who’s trying to come to terms with adulthood. Five and a half years of medical school went by so fast that I failed to realise how it has changed me and made me better as a person and as a woman. But I also failed to realise that with attainment of new skills and hobbies, the old ones have been neglected, stored away in some corner of my subconscious mind. And reading was one of them. I grew up reading all sorts of books and magazines that I have access to ranging from fiction and fantasy to politics and literature and sometimes age-inappropriate topics. But as I entered adulthood, the pressure of academics was great. There was hardly any time that I could spare for reading. I tried reading some books out of my syllabus and it just didn’t click. I hate to admit but I was being repelled by the idea of pleasure-reading. My interest in reading started to wane. It affected my vocabulary, my grammar and my spoken english, considering English is not my first language. I was worried. I have loved reading since my childhood and I knew how important and beneficial it is both for personal and public gains. It feeds the mind. Reading is a great way to relax and distract your mind when the need arises. It can be hobby or a necessity, though I prefer the latter. It can be a source of knowledge of things you are interested in, on various topics and fields. Reading takes us to places we have never been and lets us vicariously relive someone else’s experiences. And if someone is interested in writing, reading is a great way to start. We need to feed in order to produce. Reading induces analytical thinking from which opinions take shape. When I do not read, I feel that my mind works like a computer with textbook inputs but with no opinion or analytical thinking. My grades were okay , my brain was working fine but my mind was empty considering that we actually put into use some of our knowledge mostly in the last year of med school. That being said, there are people who do both and fare well but maybe I am not just one of them. Now that I have finally graduated, I have ample time for this great hobby and I constantly keep motivating myself to read. It was a great failure on my part that I did not try my best to sustain or rekindle that passion for so many years. I hope people realise that sooner or later. There should be more reading parties and more libraries especially for younger minds because that is when habits form. Books should be made more accessible to the underprivileged sections of the society in the form of book fairs and libraries. Schools should have more reading classes where students are allowed to read whatever they like from a good collection of age-appropriate books. For those who are busy with work or school, it would be a good practice to add reading to their routine wherever they could, maybe in transit or maybe during lunch hour, etc. I hope more people are bent on preserving this great hobby and also propagating it through different platforms. As for myself, I am currently working through my classics and have just started ‘Shirley’ by Charlotte Brontë. And I plan to continue. Read away, folks.