When reading becomes a social crime…

“No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.”

– Lady M. W. Montagu

When I was a child, BOOKS were banned from the dinner table.

I was an avid reader since I knew how to read. I saved up my pocket money to buy Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew series, Siri Salma and a lot others. As a teenager, I began reading magazines and even now in the medical field, I buy fiction to balance the serious facts of physiology and such.

I loved reading so much as a kid that I brought the books to the dinner table and flick the pages with one hand and the other hand serving food into my mouth. At first, Mother did not seem to mind. She must have liked the idea of me reading books but I guess the habit began to take its toll. I was not communicating with the rest of the family. My nose was always in a book like Belle of Beauty & The Beast. Her questions of “how was school” was always met by a short answer. My reaction to her interesting stories of the day was met by a lame ‘oohhh’.

So when Mother threatened me one day to  hang a book at my throat – I stopped bringing books to the table. It did not make me stop reading. But it taught me a lesson.

Reading, though brings good can still be bad if it affects how one perceive or interacts with each other.

People nowadays don’t read books. But they read on their smartphones loaded with smart apps. And while smartphones keeps ones daily task at bay, updates you on the most recent feed of the hour… it has its sins.

 

Nowadays I tend to cringe whenever I see someone at the restaurant, parents to be precise, having both their heads down facing the screen of their phones – not talking to each other and letting their children eat and play by themselves.

Don’t get me wrong. These things happen at home too. I have to remind Mr Husband or my brothers to leave the phone at the sofa during dinner and if they don’t want to participate in our parents grandfather stories – to at least just listen and respond appropriately. Apalah sangat tertinggal news feed for the next half an hour or so.. What is it that is so important on Facebook or Mudah.Com  that you can’t stop to appreciate the food that’s been prepared before you.

I think  LIVE human interaction is still the most important of all. We have to learn to use our soft skills and five senses to gather and celebrate more of each other. And perhaps for once, we don’t have to tell everybody that you bought 3 pairs of shoes at Parksons Grand Mega Raya sales today.

 

 

 

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3R : Read, Reflect, Respond

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