Reading as a Hobby:
A hobby is an occupation in which a man engages himself voluntarily either for relaxation or for passing his leisure hours. Hobbies have great value. After doing the day’s labour one feels refreshed when one occupies oneself in a hobby. A hobby drives away fatigue and provides us ample relaxation and enjoyment. It breaks the monotony of our routine work.
Different people have different hobbies depending upon their tastes, temperaments and circumstances. The range of hobbies is thus very large. Gardening, photography, stamp collecting, mountain-climbing, rowing and boating are some of the interesting hobbies. Taking long walks and playing musical instruments are very useful hobbies. To my mind reading is a very instructive and pleasant hobby. Whenever I have leisure I study books, journals and magazines. This hobby adds to my knowledge, sharpens my intellect and broadens my sympathies.
Reading provides a welcome relief from our dull, daily routine. It is an excellent pastime in which the rich and the poor alike can indulge in their spare time. Books are very costly these days. Moreover, the establishment of public libraries has made reading much cheaper and easier than ever before. No doubt, the books on mathematics, science and philosophy may be a hard task to read. But the books on history and civilization, biography, accounts of travel and exploration, light verses and drama can be read with profit and pleasure. The variety and number of magazines and periodicals are equally astonishing. They publish stories, tit-bits, fashions in dress, cross-word puzzles, pictures and the life history of famous film stars and whatnot. One can choose any one or more of the magazines and journals according to one’s own choice. No doubt, there may be a poet like Wordsworth who hates reading books. For him, Nature is the best teacher.
Again, a man like R. L. Stevenson may look upon books as the mighty bloodless substitute for life. But as against these writers, we have great lovers of books. According to Milton, a good book is the precious life-blood of a mastermind embalmed and treasured on purpose for a life beyond life. Southey calls books his never failing friends whom he consults in weal and woe (joy and sorrow). Lord Macaulay’s love of reading books has become proverbial. He said, “I would be a poor man in a hut with plenty of books than a king in a palace, who did not love reading”.
Books are a great blessing. Their reading serves to delight, ornament and ability. In the words of Lord Bacon, “Reading makes a full man, conference a ready man and writing an exact man”. He also lays down the methods of reading books. “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested, that is. some books are to read-only in parts; others to be read, but not seriously, and some to be read wholly and with diligence and attention”.
In the end, we must bear in mind that reading as a hobby should be followed wisely and moderately. By developing too much time on it we will make only a toil of pleasure.