Why everyone should read

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Why everyone should read
Manju Varghese Cherian, Supervisor - Grade 12 GEMS Our Own English High School, Dubai

"The love for reading is the best gift a parent can bequeath to their children"


Karen Ann Monsy

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Published: Fri 25 Mar 2016, 11:41 AM

Last updated: Fri 25 Mar 2016, 1:43 PM

What book(s) are you reading right now?
Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks. I have fallen in love with his famous quote: "Life is a walk to remember. Our tomorrows are determined by the steps we take each day. Every sunset gives us one day less to live, but every sunrise gives us one day more to hope. So savour every step and live it well." 
The book(s) that changed your life and shaped your outlook, and why?
The two books that have left an indelible impression on me are Magnificent Obsession by Lloyd C Douglas and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I read both these books at the impressionable age of 17 and they have made me an eternal
optimist and have taught me the greatest lesson: the more you give, the greater you receive. Yet another book is Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. 
Which titles or authors can you pick up and read anytime, and why?
Paulo Coelho, Mitch Albom, Khaled Hosseini - they create magic with words. 
Which books would you love to pass on to your children (or any young person) to read and treasure, and why?
Life of Pi by Yann Martel, Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother by Amy Chua, Bend, not Break by Ping Fu, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak... the list goes on. These books are a commentary on life, made with black and prominent strokes. 
Why do you think books are still relevant today?
Books have the power to heal and mend human hearts. They have the ability to inspire, amuse, teach and enthrall. I have learnt the art of selfless giving from Magnificent Obsession, determination and resilience from Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha and the richness of African culture from Roots by Alex Haley. Books have shaped my mind, coloured my dreams and stretched my imagination. And, they continue to cast their spell on me.
Love for reading is the best gift any parent can bequeath to their children. My father instilled in me a love for literature and I wish to pass on that legacy to my children and my students. 
Leslee Udwin, the director of the controversial documentary, India's Daughter, has rightly said, "We, as a world, have failed to educate our children's hearts. We have only educated their heads because we are so focussed on career, skills and money. Social-emotional learning is what is missing." The answer to this is books - books make us humane, compassionate and empathetic.
- As told to Karen Ann Monsy

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