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Before I get into the WHY, let me clarify at the onset that by reading! do not mean reading tweets, or Whatsapp messages, or 'in-shorts' news, or blogs, or daily horoscopes. When I say, 'reading,' I mean big, fat books, anything with at least 200 pages. Pages full of words written in a 10-12 font size. Not pages full of glossy pictures, captions and price tags. And reading means reading such books for pleasure, not for cracking an exam or making a presentation. Now that we are clear about my definition of 'reading', let's get to the WHY.

One. Reading is the cheapest form of travel available. And perhaps also the only form of time-travel at our disposal as of now.

Two. It never lets you feel lonely. In fact, if you begin to enjoy reading, you will crave being alone.

Three. You don't have to wait for the words to buffer. You can dive right into them. You don't even need wifi or your phone.

Four. Books always and inevitably make you look more interesting.

Five. Reading makes you better at critical thinking and challenges your grey cells.

Six. It boosts your creativity, imagination and cognitive abilities.

Seven. It enhances your vocabulary. Improves your communication skills and helps you write better.

Eight. Books neither dump you or betray you nor do they become nauseatingly clingy. They make the perfect companions.

Nine. Reading makes you a better human being. You gain more knowledge - that's axiomatic (I learnt that word while reading, FYI)

You become more empathetic - because you get to read different perspectives

You begin to practice patience - waiting for the next book in a series or waiting to discover how the story ends. Believe me. You will learn to be patient.

Your memory improves - having to remember the characters, their details over weeks while you finish a novel. And then recalling entire stories as you read the next book in a series. It makes your memory do magic tricks.

you learn not to give a f*** about things that don't matter - when you want to finish a book, you learn to prioritise and suddenly everything that's unimportant becomes crystal clear. Also, when reading lengthy descriptions, you learn to sift through all the embellishments to get to the core

You become more tolerant - you will fall in love with characters and hate them for their stupidities and yet continue to love them. You will even love the villains. Most importantly, you will become tolerant of the ignorants who do not know what they are missing when they choose not to read.

You become generous - You will want to share the great books you have read, your ideas and knowledge. You will even want to have people as immersed in reading as you are. You might want to form your own book- reading religion, you don't keep that feeling in check.

You become Zen - you will always have other worlds to explore, new wonders to unearth and curiosities to quench. Life will be much more than you ever imagined and you will never be bored, not even for a moment. You will find peace and enlightenment.

Ten. Nobody will ever complain about you reading too much. Especially, parents. And you will have the perfect excuse to ignore the rest of the world. You can always cite your reason as 'occupied with more intellectual pursuits'