Books record what wise men have heard, seen, thought or discovered. The eternal truths are recorded in good books. They instruct us in our youth and comfort us in our old age.
Francis Bacon says: "Reading make a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man".
Reading habit is one of the best characteristics that a man can possess. Once the habit of reading books grows in one, it seldom dies out. It is said that a book is one's best friend in life. By reading a good book, one can not only earn knowledge but also gain experience in life, and realize the eternal truth. A good book can guide one in the right direction in his life's journey.
The taste of reading' should be acquired early in life, because a good book refreshes one's mind and bring immense pleasure.
Just to read any book, whatever comes near at hand, is not to be called a good reading habit, because worthless books can not provide knowledge. It is only the good books that can provide innocent joy and pure wisdom that one aspires. So there must be a proper selection of books which are to be read.
R. W. Emerson has cited three practical rules in this regard:
1. Never read any book that is not a year old.
2. Never read any but the famed books.
3. Never read any but what you like.
It means that a book must be selected that is already known to be a good one. And the subject that is also to be after the reader's choice. When we read a book, we expect some new and substantial material in it. If the reader has some special interest in any particular subject, he should look for books on such a subject. So the reading habit should be confined to certain limits in order to derive maximum benefit out of it.
Books impart precious knowledge to the readers. "Knowledge is power: Says Francis Bacon. And Sterne says: "The desire of knowledge, like the thirst of riches, increases ever with the acquisition of it."
Wealth can be stolen, while knowledge can not be. The more you offer it to others, the more it increases in yourself. There is no alternative of knowledge in this world; and knowledge can only be gained by reading good books.
Jeremy Collier says: "A man as well expects to grow stronger by always eating, as wiser by always reading".
It means that by eating good food, a man can become strong in his body; but by reading good books, he can become wise in his mind. And it is only the reading habit that can make a man wise in life.