Books have been known to do many things, including give people hope and wisdom. They are a grand source of information and what’s even more noteworthy is the source: the library. A library can be considered a stock of knowledge. And even though the library of UFV is a remarkable work of textbooks, course reserves, research databases, journals and much more, work of fiction should also be introduced as not only are these more intriguing to read, they help students to develop vivid imagination and an impeccable vocabulary.
Our university is a diverse spot where students from unique origins and ethnicities come in unison to study. Major percentiles of students live in the baker house and many of them are on their own. We are already aware of the fact that, it is tough enough making ends at university without a financial crisis to deal with. This fact is true especially in regards to international students as they pay around $7800 of flat fee per semester; the cost of living expenses, course books, food, clothing etc. excluded. The students cannot afford to buy their course books forget spending additional money on any other kind of object. Hence, the unavailability of fiction work at the library can cost the book lovers a great deal of money. Therefore, in my opinion, new works of fiction should be introduced at the library in addition to all the textbooks and journals provided. Not only would it be much more accessible to students, it would save them a considerable measure of time and money.
But as a reader, would you not ask the question why read hardcopies when we have e-books? It is a world of technology that we live in and everything we yearn for is available on the Internet, even books. Then why would students need hardcopy books instead of e-books or online books? The major reason behind this is that books in print offer a tactile experience. A digital book diminishes books to simply words; a printed book continues to preserve the image that a book is much more than words—it is an experience. Books can be touched, they can be held, they can be smelled and that is what makes them unique. An e-book reduces a book just to its words; it strips out any sort of tactile experience.
It makes a book a whole lot less than it ought to be. Also, the bright lights that are emitted from the computer screens, smartphones and tablets shine directly onto people’s faces and can tire the eyes. Prolonged reading on self-illuminated screens can cause eyestrain, headaches and blurred vision. Such symptoms are common amongst people who read on screens affecting a major percentile of people who work long hours in front of computers that the American Optometric Association officially recognizes it as computer vision syndrome. Henceforth, it is crucial that an institute this big must have a library with all the literary work.
Socrates once said “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for”. The quote simply validates the title of the essay as reading simply helps an individual to gain more wisdom and intelligence by other people’s writings. Reading fiction not only helps an individual to think more innovatively and creatively, it likewise upgrades one’s vocabulary. It is the ‘Ultimate Escape’ and is vital in a student’s life. It diverts them from their rushed calendar and gives them a chance to unwind in a manner that is both active and relaxing at the same time. Unlike sitting before the TV, reading is an active mental process that not only triggers your imagination but also relaxes your mind and let you slip away from the world for a while.
We are aware of the fact that reading a good literary work not only helps you gain new insights, it also helps you build empathy and lets you look at the world through the eyes of the other. Now I ask, is a library complete without any work of fiction in it? Is a library complete with collection of boring textbooks? A library to me is not just a bunch of books; it is a stock of knowledge. Knowledge that sets you free and lets you imagine. Feeling hopeless or desolate? Getting into an incredible novel is a certain cure for any of these. It is amazing how rapidly you disregard what’s disturbing you, as your brain is loaded with interesting characters and an energizing plot. In fact, Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, and Keith Oatley, a professor of cognitive psychology at the University Of Toronto, reported in studies published in 2006 and 2009 that individuals who often read fiction appear to be better in order to understand other people, empathize with them and view the world from their perspective.
A 2010 study by Mar found a similar result in young children: the more stories they had read to them, the keener their minds. Recent research in cognitive science, psychology and neuroscience has demonstrated that deep reading — slow, immersive, rich in detail, emotion and moral complexity — is a distinctive experience compared to the mere decoding of words. These facts clearly state that a library with great works of fiction would just profit all. To sum up, a library is not complete without interesting works of fiction and intriguing novels. Granted, the library may currently have a couple of classics. But are they enough? Books broaden our worldview and give us meaning in life. Isn’t the university life meant to do just the same for us? Then how is the trip complete when an alternate piece of it is absent?
Courtney from Study Moose
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