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Monday, January 28, 2002

The pleasure of reading books offline
Mesha Singh Minhas

BOOKS have existed from the early years of human history and have survived the onslaught of time. Are you a book freak or even an interested reader? If not then you don't know what you are missing out on.

Books are facing a stiff competition from WWW (World Wide Web). Fiction and non-fictions tales all abound the Net. Surfing such sites offers hours of enjoyable companionship. If you have an active imagination you can just enter the doorway to different worlds through books. Want more information about your favourite book and having trouble finding it? Just click and join the world of Net crusaders. That is the trend today.

Research on subjects related to your favourite books through the Net, meet the authors online, know the history of the books of interest and give your opinions. You can join clubs that can keep you well-informed by providing timely updates on recent and newly published books.


Seek any research material and Net is there for you. Not only that, you can even shop online for books. Cyberspace has made life easier for the purchaser. Just log on, click on your topic of interest, go through the contents, view extracts from the book, read it and decide on. After that think for yourself whether you actually need to purchase it.

Teens today turn to the Net for 'better' stuff -chatting and mailing that may hold a larger percentage of their interest than surfing for books.

Sadly the attraction (actual, not virtual) books offer has seemingly gone down among the present generation. Alas, cyber surfers do not know what they are missing. True, books have always been irreplaceable and will always remain so. The best companion that you have in your leisure time and when you are lonely - be it while going to bed or during travel. Nerds might prefer a laptop or a notebook PC to read a novel while travelling. For me, it has to be actual books with pages of paper and odour of print.

And I am proud to announce that at least in my school, books are still read with rapt attention and enjoyed. Maybe the trend is coming back. Their role can never change nor can their value Books are an investment. Invest in books and secure your future. Books are never a waste of money even though the Net is spreading its tentacles everywhere taking down even the most avid book reader along - hook, line and sinker.