‘There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.’
These are the words of Gilbert Keith Chesterton (popularly called G.K.Chesterton), the Englishman who never went to college but became one of the most prolific writers of all time. Among other things. He was no mere wordsmith – he had a way with words. An example is the play of words in the statement above.
What I understand this genius to say is, the motivation to read can stem either from:
- the desire to learn, or
- the want for leisure.
You can read to engage your thoughts, and develop your mind and intellect. Also you can read to just pass time or to take your mind away from an activity which made you tired.
The world of difference between the two is in the benefits derived. Just as it is beneficial to read for the purpose of learning, it is also beneficial to read as a pastime. On one hand the mind is developed, on the other the body is rested and the mind entertained.
So one is not better than the other.
Actually, the two motives for reading in Chesterton’s statement come to play at different times in an individual’s life. I can relate. Many times, I have been an eager reader seeking to learn. At other times, a tired reader who just wants to unwind with a good book.
But there is an in-between. Those times when I experience the ambivalence of the two – eager to devour a book but too tired to crack it open. So I coined the word, ‘eagired’. A hybrid between the words eager and tired.
But then there is no one activity that is so good that every moment of our time should be spent on it. Inasmuch as I love to read I resolve my quandary by choosing rest, almost always. Variety is still the spice of life, and everything still has a time and season.
There is no activity so good and beneficial that every moment of our time should be spent on it. – JeNom MakamaTweet
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