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Benifits of Reading

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Good afternoon, honourable judges, teachers and friends.

A survey conducted a few years ago showed the average Malaysian only reads half a book a year. We Malaysians can pride ourselves on being progressive in many ways, but we can hardly be called a reading society.

Many of us, especially students, only read because we have to, not because we want to. In our exam-orientated education system, we often read under pressure, rather than for pleasure. In fact, we seem to have forgotten that reading has various benefits.

First, as young children, we can gain a certain indescribable pleasure which only comes through quietly perusing the pages of a good book. Reading excites our imagination, and takes us to faraway lands. Through traditional fairy tale books and juvenile fiction, our need for a good story is fulfilled. Often, we are so engrossed with the characters in the story that we start guessing what the ending will be like.

As we grow older, our reading tastes mature beyond these books, and we start reading literary classics. Reading good literature like this is beneficial because literature is a mirror of live. Through devouring the pages of a book, a gain new insight on different cultures the world over. We learn to analyse human character and behavior through the portrayal of different human relationships. This means we are presented with different perspectives on life.

Furthermore, reading well-written novels teaches us moral values and takes us on a journey of self-discovery. If we think carefully about the right and wrong choices made by the characters, we acquire the habit of thinking critically and making wise decisions. This is, of course, part of growing up into responsible adults.

Last but not least, a sustained reading programme helps to improve our grammar and vocabulary. Through wide reading, we are exposed to many different grammatical structures and styles are unconsciously assimilated and stored within us, so that we gradually enhance our proficiency.

Besides that, we develop our own writing style and will be able to write more creatively. We learn to communicate our message across to someone more effectively through the use of the right word of phrase.

Thus, it is obvious that the reading habit brings many benefits and the love of reading has to be instilled in young minds. Children should be taught that books can hold a world of amusement, excitement and fascination. This will ensure that they grow up with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and a desire to let their imagination soar.



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