“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
It’s not just another dialogue for poetic gratification. Effects of reading on one’s personality cannot be expressed more beautifully. For people who have never read a book, or have never been into reading, this might come as a surprise. But, for all those crazy booklovers out there, let me raise a toast right away. Yes, reading shapes our personality and so delighted we are, that it does!
The effects begin to show the moment you start reading. It’s quite similar to taking a deep plunge, to explore the limits of underwater life, and never looking back. Ever wondered why there’s a growing insistence on book reading as we grow up? Bedtime stories, childhood fairy tales, library books and what not! Reading is a lot more than being a mere knowledge enhancer. Yes, it imparts information to start, but that’s not the end. Personalities don’t change in a day. They develop over the time and change our attitudes, perspectives and opinions towards others.
Fiction is the biggest example of this fact. Habitual reading is more like fleeing your own reality. It’s the best escape route one can opt for. As you flip through the pages, you enter an altogether new world, leaving your mundane reality far behind. In doing so, we develop an intimate bond with the book that satisfies our social need as well. Reading brings you closer to the ordinary and acquaints you to something extraordinary. Perfect bliss is more like it.
On that note, I must emphasize that people don’t just get lost in a novel. Sometimes, they relate strongly with a fictional character and thus experience its emotions, thoughts and beliefs, which trigger significant changes in people’s lives. Re-reading a book strengthens the change that may occur in a reader’s persona. While movies make the viewers mere spectators, reading induces imagination. This imagination works wonders in shaping one’s personality. It facilitates better interpersonal understanding and improved knowledge of our own self.
Paragraphs and sometimes even sentences change people. And, that’s true. You read a health tip, and you try incorporating it. You read an interesting novel, and you metamorphose your thoughts and feelings to glide into its fantasy world. Every time you try such things, you add a little to your personality which gets ingrained over the time. Regular reading stimulates, improves, teaches and guides. It opens all scopes of personality development. What you may not learn from your parents or teachers, sometimes books teach the same and with such finesse that it shines in your personality. Be it through facts, morals, imageries or a character, reading strongly influences the personality of the reader.