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In the pre internet era (1970s and prior) books used to be the one true source of knowledge. All implicit, factual and tactic. Books are a second world in themselves, with fiction representing people, scenarios, creations of all kinds, facts from all over the world, poetry of the most delicate sense and so much more.

Coming from personal experience reading can be one of the most monotonous activities to partake in and making it a habit can be of big pain, but what I have understood so far is that somehow irrespective of what you read (be it a form of fiction, a biography, an anthology, a comic etc.) will only be of good to you. Of course, this only applies in terms of brain development and not in cases where reading certain pieces of writing can cause a negative influence.

To give you a more scientific perspective to the numerous benefits of reading, it can, to state a few:

  1. Improve brain connectivity

  2. Empower you to empathize with others

  3. Reduce stress

  4. Fight depressive symptoms

  5. Aid sleeplessness to an extent

Not too shabby for ten pages a day; wouldn’t you agree?

Now, let’s discuss the habit of reading. One difficult to build but even worse to let go off. As I stated above, reading wasn't much fun to me when I was younger, but now, I believe I can tell you about the ways in which building this habit can help. Reading is much more than just about improving vocabulary and comprehension, it helps widen your horizon to great extents. Personally, I believe apart from all the basic language building skillset it provides one with, it has a bigger hand in improving one’s creative skills. Not only can you learn to write grammatically correct , but you can also make it interesting. It empowers you with the ability to entertain people through words.

When I first started reading and got into the flow of it, seeing the fast pace at which my bookshelf filled up gave me a sense of pride. I used to ask my father to look at the shelf every time he came into my room as it made me proud of myself. This could be yet another benefit of reading. It may give one a sense of self satisfaction. That feeling of finishing a book that wasn’t so much of a page turner, or one with sentences that took minutes to make sense out of, is superior.

There are plenty of ways I can state that may help you become an avid reader, here are a few:

  1. Start by reading easy literature, don't go for the big guns just yet.

  2. Start with the genre that interests you the most, being interested in the book you are reading may just make it easier to understand and faster to finish.

  3. Try to read 10 pages before bed. Make it a priority, be it 10pm or 1am it has to be done.

  4. Carry a book with you wherever you can (to school/ on a flight/ to the doctor’s appointment etc.)

  5. Be mindful. Next time you see yourself grabbing for that phone to scroll on for an hour, grab a book to flip through instead.

Considering myself to be a reader, I believe it’s my responsibility to finish off by giving you suggestions, so here are some of my favorite reads under a variety of genres that you can add to your list:

Classic (a personal favorite):

  1. To kill a mockingbird

  2. Little women

  3. The catcher in the rye

  4. Anna Karenina

  5. The picture of Dorian Gray

  6. Catch 22

  7. Great expectations


  1. The adventures of Sherlock Holmes

  2. And then there were none

  3. Anything by Stephen King


  1. Jane Eyre

  2. Beach read

  3. Pride and prejudice

  4. It ends with us

Fiction work specifically by women:

  1. The handmaids tail

  2. A room of one’s own

  3. The song of Achilles

  4. The awakening

Fiction work specifically by brown authors:

  1. The autobiography of an unknown Indian

  2. Fasting, feasting

  3. A thousand splendid suns

  4. The kite runner

- Sia Verma

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