“Why would you even ever read this?,” my classmates often ask rhetorically, referring to Mustansar Hussain Tarar’s first widely-acclaimed travelogue ‘Nikley Teri Talaash Mein’. A couple of times the question has also been directed towards me, actually leaving me with no particular answer.
I have always taken life and books as they come and never hesitate in reading and living them to the fullest for obvious reasons, so an answer to this question never occurred to me. But through the course of the book, I have realised how much a book can contribute to your learning. To say this, however, is like stating the obvious since I am no one to introduce the world to the merits of reading. But the importance of the genre of travelogues has actually led me to value habitual reading in general.
Where travelogues literally take you on a trip across the world, if seen in that way, other genres are also a way of travelling. Now, here travelling is not confined to visiting about a place but could be a trip down the author’s mind or into a different time altogether. In any case, the reader is drawn out of his/her own path of thinking and exposed to a world of new ideas.
In this particular idea lies the crux of reading. To come out of a bubble and widen the horizons of one’s thinking, it is important to go through what different people have to say. However, this is not only achieved by reading a paperback or hardcover but with innumerable online resources it is a cakewalk to reach someone else’s point of view. Blogs, e-books and various other online publications serve the purpose equally efficiently.
Having said that, there is nothing more pleasurable than holding a well-bound copy of grainy pages with superfluous text that transports you into a different world. Personally, I consider online reading only a source of information but reading physical books as a creative and mental exercise.
But then again as long as you’re reading and are led to a different perspective its fine. And trust me, you’ll witness remarkable evolution in yourself as your reading list keeps elongating.