The joys of Reading
Reading is a great pleasure. It is indeed a life long pleasure. Reading lifts one up from the harsh realities of life into the world of imagination. Reading also gives intellectual satisfaction. Literature is of different kinds. Serious literature encourages intellectual activity, light literature amuses one and all and poetry stirs one’s imagination. Reading enriches our experience and sharpens our judgement. This in turn makes us wiser and enhances our knowledge. The pleasures of reading are many.
Happy is the man who acquires the habit of reading when young. Books serve as a life-long source of pleasure, instruction and inspiration. One who has books as his beloved friends never need feel lonely or bored. A man who has books as his true friends is in possession of a wealth more precious than Gold. Books are indeed treasuries, filled not with Gold, silver or precious stones, but with knowledge, noble thoughts and high ideals.
Well, books are of many kinds, but my choicest form of literature is fiction. Fiction of all sorts interests me, well as long as it’s not cheap or vulgar. It is my belief that one should always steer clear of such books because they do you more harm than good. They can mislead you and so had better be kept at a distance. Good books, on the other hand are trusted guides. Well, fiction mainly provides pleasure and time pass. Though they might not contribute towards enhancing your knowledge, they will help you improve your vocabulary and your grammar also.
Well, I wish to tell you about some of my favourite books, and I would love to hear from fellow book lovers. I simply love reading books, and I would love to read as many as possible. I feel that one can never tire of books. Well, I don’t know much about other genres like philosophy etc. it is mainly fiction that I read. I would love it if you would also tell me about your favourite books, so that I can have the pleasure of reading more good books. Well, so here we go. Cheers.
BOOKS I LOVE
Beautiful works of fiction are extremely hard to come by, and still rarer are those so lovingly written as to move one to tears, at times. Louisa May Alcott’s ‘LITTLE WOMEN’ fits into both criteria. The book tells the story of the March family. At the very onset, we are introduced to the March family, which consists of Mr. March, Mrs. March and their four daughters, Meg (Margaret), Jo (Josephine), Beth (Elizabeth) and Amy.
Though Mr. March does not appear till the end of the book, we feel, as we know him very well through the conversations of others. The four girls are the main protagonists, with Jo being the prime character. Apart from the March family, the other important characters are Laurie (again, a prime character, and Jo’s best friend); Laurie’s grandpa, the extremely rich and a bit eccentric Mr. Laurence; John Brooke, Laurie’s tutor, who is secretly in love with Meg; Hannah, the March family servant, but considered more of a friend, and Aunt March, the rich old relation of the March’s for whom Jo works. The four girls are quite different from each other. Meg believes in playing the part of the perfect lady to the hilt. Though she is a very sweet girl, and always guides her younger sisters towards the right path, she is not free from the small vanities, which beset teenage girls. Meg loves to carry herself like a proper lady and longs to have the most beautiful of dresses, but as her family is very poor, she has to make do with not-so-fashionable dresses. In spite of her vanities, though Meg is a very dependable person and is very gentle and tactful with her sisters. Jo is very very different from Meg, and is easily the most likeable person in the book. Jo is a real tomboy, and she hates behaving the way girls usually do. She does not care a damn about fashion, and wishes that she were a boy. She likes to do the activities that men do and she is a headstrong girl. It is Jo’s ambition in life to be a famous writer and write meaningful, yet popular novels. Although she gets into awful tempers many a time during the course of the book, you can’t help loving her for her funny manners and her undying love for her family. Beth, on the other hand is a very docile person, she is indeed an angel, she is never rude to anyone, always so gentle, so compassionate and never does a harsh word escape her mouth. Such people are extremely hard to come by and everyone will love Beth for the sweet, dear creature that she is. On the contrary, Amy is not at all docile, and believes in having things her own way. Amy is a bit selfish, but she bears an unfailing love for her family and she has very lady-like manners. Her charming manners hardly fail to impress anyone, even the irritable Aunt March. The book is guaranteed fun, though some of its moments tend to produce a lump in your throat. Young and old love it alike, though it is written keeping young readers in mind. The exploits of the March family have been a timeless favourite with generations of readers. The varied cast-vivacious Jo, gentle Beth, the dashing Laurie, and the loving and selfless Mrs. March keep all entertained, though in the distance, one can hear the rumblings of the American civil war. The passing years bring adventure and romance, and soon the girls are young women. Childhood, love, the joys (and the pain) of growing up in loving a though poor family –these are some of the themes Louisa May Alcott explores in this lively and warm saga of the March family…
A WORD ABOUT THE AUTHOR.
Louisa May Alcott was born in U.S.A. She was the second of four daughters, and had to learn to support her family, which was quite poor, from an early age. From the age of sixteen, she began to write. Anyone who reads ‘Little Women’ can find in Jo’s experiences, Louisa’s beginning as an authoress. The book brought her fame and fortune. Though she has written many other books, this book is her most widely read book, and young people easily identify themselves with the characters in the book. No one knew Jo better than Louisa herself, for the tomboy who grew up into the tall girl with chestnut hair was she herself. ‘Little women’ is followed by ‘Good Wives’, ‘Little Men’ and ‘Jo’s Boys’, its sequels, though ‘Little Women’ is the most enjoyable of the four. Louisa may Alcott was a great champion of causes, such as better working conditions for women and women’s right to vote.
Pygmalion is set in London and the beginning depicts London’s Covent Garden on a rainy night. There has been a heavy thunderstorm, and caught in it are the passers by from different strata of society forced to seek shelter in a church.the prime character of the story is also one among them. She is a girl who sells flowers and she is trying to sell her flowers to an elderly military gentleman. She has a terrible accent, and one can gather from a glance that she is uneducated and unsophisticated. A man stands behind her, taking down every word she says. What is the man up to?
When the rain stops, the crowd scatters and the people all go their own way. The flower girl, whose name happens to be Liza Dolittle, the note-taker and the military gentleman remain behind. The person who took the notes is Henry Higgins. He is a phonetics expert, and the military gentleman is Colonel Henry Pickering, an Indian dialects expert. Higgins bets that he can, within 3 months, transform the uneducated, cockney accented girl to a well-bred lady. And no one will be able to recognize her for what she is. He boasts that she will be transformed to such an extent that she can pass of as a duchess at the ambassador’s garden party. He claims that he will do all this using his tremendous knowledge of phonetics. Pickering is skeptical. Higgins and Pickering then forget the matter; but the girl who has heard their conversation does not forget it. Then, they all go away from there. The girl appears at Higgins’s house, the next day, asking for speech lessons, in order to secure a job at a flower shop. Higgins, at first tends to laugh it off, but then decides to actually take up the challenge since pickering offers to bear all the expenses. The transformation begins.
Is Higgins successful in his experiment? To find out, be sure to read George Bernard Shaw’s classic play ‘PYGMALION.
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