Published:  12:03 PM, 07 April 2021

Deprivations of reading novels: an offbeat perspective

Deprivations of reading novels: an offbeat perspective

-Hasan Al-Mahmud 

People usually discover significant benefits of reading novels. I, several times, have written about the positivity of going into the depth of stories and finding colorful treasures. For the first time, I am penning from an offbeat perspective where many diverse questions can be procured in reading fiction, especially novels.

Reading Haruki Murakami’s ‘Hear the Wind Sing’, readers may have both chances of either taking pleasure from loneliness or going into a hole where the light cannot reach; moreover, readers may get their spirit down. Sometimes, reading makes readers lonely when they feel its orientations passionately and consider themselves the book’s provocations. 

Reading Humayun Ahmed’s ‘Kathpencil’, readers may either have enjoyed his writing experience or misunderstood the writer’s interplay. With his affairs in the literature field, there can be the most significant dilemma to judge him with his novel interactions. Knowing a writer’s personal life gives readers a pre-judgment about the writer’s book stories. Still, many readers believe that Humayun Ahmed led a generation with no purpose in life, except for crawling randomly in individual fantasy. This is how novels can influence!

But, if someone is suffering from depression, Murakami’s writing, such as ‘Norwegian Wood’, can make them more confused, depressed and tired. Sometimes readers get puzzled about what to believe. Here in this novel, sexuality has got its flow that turns a college student into a relationship with Naoko and Midori, which subconsciously influences young readers to get puzzled about the relationship. A book can change readers’ behavior, but writers’ ones stay the same after all.

Reading a story written by someone cannot be appropriate for everyone in real life as the real-world steps are very different from book pages. Writers skip the consequences that don’t attract the audience, but readers have no options to omit the immediate challenges; instead, they need to go through all these. From some angles, therefore, reading novels too much can build a spiritual restriction to live life happily.

In Zahir Raihan’s ‘Hajar Bochor Dhore’, the way of life flows for thousands of years with hope-despair, love-passion, expectation-achievement. In a stagnant society, women have no rights, and they are demonstrated as just dolls; whatever you want, you can do with them. That story does not go with the contemporary world; it has already improved. So, exercising that painful experience can make readers down and angry without any appropriate judgement. It even can affect their attitude towards the man in the current society — bringing a substantial negative influence.

Moreover, a novel is not a history, and it cannot be updated. People receive what is perfect right now, but novels do not give a complete impression at a certain period. It’s always incomplete — that seems to be the beauty of the literature, but a confusing ending in short stories gives readers an impaired judgment — understanding the feeling in pervert flow. Tagore defined the short stories as something that has ended but does not end so. Fictional stories have a beginning, middle, and end, but it is hard to margin the middle and end in real life, although readers know the origin and beginning. 

Readers, additionally, have no control over modifying the moves of the characters. If readers think that the protagonist shouldn’t be involved in a crime or the antagonist does not deserve to be praised, readers neither accept the irregularities nor feel good. It is against the moral flow. It kills readers naturally, or it makes the readers hopeless. 

Furthermore, when a novel produces negative messages such as propaganda or romanticism of loose morals, some readers understand that it has wasted their time. The only way to know about the story is to read the summary, but a novel summary does not always inspire to read that book thoroughly when readers have already understood the story, theme and message.

Besides physical and psychological transformation such as eyestrain and mental health, habits of reading novels may kill readers’ valuable time. For example, according to the combined research of ‘Indy100’, ‘The Independent’, and ‘Statista’, readers from India, Thailand, and China spend eight to ten hours weekly reading books. Readers from the Philippines, Egypt, Russia, etc., give around seven hours. 

This is why many readers meet a scarcity of sleep; they become sick from the addiction to reading novels. We often find many examples when people find too much interest in a book; they forget what is happening around them. Breaking the routine, when readers get lost in a story — forgetting the situation where they are, even, it has happened that someone had a pet dog and he failed to feed it for a long time, and it almost died.

"Many books, many thoughts!" Some novels can misguide readers to be messy in their thinking. So, it’s not so easy to find out what is perfect for an individual reader among a million books. In this limited lifespan, it would be wise to choose books, but the problem is, readers will be biased in that case. The person who is suggesting a book does not entirely know what the readers expect to read, so this process misguides readers too.

When people read to have fun or to get enjoyment, sometimes a book can guide them subconsciously into an opposite dimension if an intelligent writer writes it. Brilliant writers never follow a common way to draw the plot; instead, they try to make novels strange and exceptional with an unexpected ending and unreal happenings. Every new story motivates readers according to the perception of a writer. Readers make mistakes again and again, but writers never do so.

Last but not least, reading habits may turn readers physically lazy, and sometimes they do not move; instead, they sit at the same place. Too much attraction for reading novels can guide readers into an angle where they never wanted to travel. Therefore, readers, who have been believing that reading novels always bring benefits, can rethink it now. 

-The writer is a freelance contributor who writes on contemporary issues, education, and literature

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