A hobby gives us pleasure for we do it for the love of the work and not under compulsion for any monetary or other benefit. Thus, it is more fulfilling and gives us satisfaction and joy. My favourite hobby is reading. It is said ‘Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body’. I truly believe that books are man’s best friend. Over the years, I feel books have become my true friend. They cater to every mood and have the answers to all my questions.

With the popularity of computers and video games in recent times, the habit of reading has generally taken a backseat. People are so occupied in watching movies, television and addicted to computer games that they find little or no time for reading. However, those who have developed reading as a hobby are aware of the countless advantages associated with it.

My habit of reading started at an early age, when my mother and my grandmother would tell stories at bedtime. They would tell me moral stories and other fairy tales. I used to become so involved in these stories that I asked various questions. I used to try to visualise the stories by adding my own elaborative version to it. As I grew up, my eagerness and curiosity only increased, making me realise that there are many more towns to be built and many more scenes that need a new shape of my imaginations. This fuelled my passion for reading even more.

In my readings, I have been a king who has won nations, I have been an angel helping the needy, I have wandered places in search of the treasures, and I have also shed tears being a forgotten beloved. Through my readings, I have travelled the farthest of the universe and have met zillions of aliens. Additionally, once I start reading a book, I can’t stop because it makes me wonder and want to know what would be the ending of it. When I read, I can exactly relate the author’s feelings, experiences and his intention behind delivering his message. I genuinely believe in Walt Disney when he says: “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on treasure island”.

I like reading books. But my reading is not limited to any particular genre. I like reading everything from Shakespeare, John Milton, Jane Austen, mythological books, Rabindranath Tagore and contemporary genre like that of Chetan Bhagat, Paulo Coelho, Premchand and many more. I like reading newspapers and magazines too. “If a book is well written, I always find it too short,” exclaimed Jane Austen, and same is the case with me.

Reading has immense advantages. By reading a good book, one can not only earn knowledge but also gain experience in life, and realise the eternal truth. Reading broadens the horizon of thinking of a person, improves vocabulary and cultivates sensitivity towards people of different cultures. A good book can guide one in the right direction in his journey of life. In fact, it has been proved that the mind of a reader is more concentrated and focussed about various aspects of life.

When the mind is focussed, it has the capability to be more attentive in practical situations of life. As a result, the body and mind of such people remain calm; they look at the problem objectively and are better decision makers.

Additionally, reading improves memory. When one reads a book, he/she has to remember an assortment of characters, their background, ambitions, history, and nuances, as well as the various arcs and sub-plots. Reading, according to me, is one habit that is without any drawbacks. In my opinion, everyone should cultivate the habit of reading, be it reading just anything.

And no movie can match the charm of reading. All the characters look better and justified in the book rather than in the movie based on it. I also believe that after reading so much I have a lot to tell the world. Well, who knows this hobby turns into passion which then can turn me into a writer someday, or may inspire me to open my own library someday.

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