Reading in the time of COVID-19

Reading in the time of COVID-19

What types of feelings you’d be getting while reading a book? Excitement? Happiness? Most of the times people read because reading is a portal or a pathway leading to new worlds. The stories might have been written aeons ago, still, the universality in them would make us enjoy them.  This is why we thoroughly enjoy the Aesop Fables. Though it was told by an old slave in Greece named Aesop, they are still relevant in today’s much more complicated world. 

What defines a story? Or should the question be what makes a good story? A good story has their main ingredients and they are-:

1. It should follow a chain of events

2. Should have a hero and an antagonist

3. It should be simple to be comprehended by the listener

In Aesop’s fables, we see the three ingredients. They can also be seen in stories told by any popular storytellers such as Brothers Grimm Tales, The jataka tales or the Pancha tantra.

These days we are having a tough time. We are gripped by the clumsy hands of a pandemic named COVID-19. We are going through a time that has almost no parallels in human history. Schools are closed, and children have more free time. Instead of frittering away time, he or she should use it productively. But how? That is the million-dollar question. Children can dabble in various activities such as dancing, painting, reading etc. This blog focuses on the aspects of reading.

Why reading is important? You know the rules of socialization are mostly unwritten. Children learn this art through a psychological construct named ‘mirroring’.  This is simply the observation of adults and at times copying adult behaviours.  .  Learning about social cues would help children to boot and develop healthy self- images. Books can be immensely helpful when understanding the art of socialization and this is why they are always termed as the best friends of readers.

But what to read? This is a contentious question. It depends on the taste of the child as that alone determines the genre the child likes. Some children might like adventure, and some others would prefer humour. We have to select books wisely as they will be having a tremendous impact on the lives of children later on as they will be in their formative stages. Ideally one should select books that could spur the imagination of children.

This blog will give some suggestion about making a small reading list -:

1. One thousand and one nights (This is a timeless Arab Classic. Told by the doomed princess Scheherazade, children will like it for sure. They can interact and mingle with the characters, such as flying on the carpet with Aladdin, go on voyages with Sinbad the sailor, laugh at the miserliness of Qasim, observe the dacoit Alibaba and his 40 henchmen)

2. The Brothers Grimms Tales ( Timeless Children’s classics)

3. Stories by Hans Christian Anderson ( Eternal children’s classics)

4. The Pancha tantra tales ( Indian moral fables)

5. The Jataka Tales ( Indian moral fables)

6. The Hoja Tales ( From the middle east, they are funny stories)

7. Charlotte’s Web ( Timeless classic for children)

8. The Chronicles of Narnia ( Written by C.S. Lewis, this should be in every library)

9. Charlie and the chocolate factory ( By Roald Dahl. Classic)

Children are our hopes. They should not waste time during situations like these. Reading will help them in growing into better personalities. As their parents and teachers, as responsible guardians, it is our duty to guide them appropriately.