Nowadays there is a confusing abundance of books. Like population explosion, there is book explosion in modern times as thousands of books are being published daily all over the world. It is not possible for a man to read all the books even on a single subject within the limited span of his life. Moreover, all books are not worth reading. Many of them are bad or useless books, They do more evil than good to the readers. Pornographies or other printed nonsense should be avoided by the readers. So reading books should be our choice.
But the question is how to choose the right books. A specialist collects a book related to his special subject. Students are interested in textbooks. Common readers usually like novels and travelogues. Children have also their special likings. Yet the general readers should read some classics to cultivate their taste. Besides the epics of the East and the West, there are classics of different countries in different languages. Shakespeare, Shaw, Wilde, Dickens, Dumas, Kalidas, Tolstoy, Kamu, Kfka, Bankimchandra, Rabindranath, Saratchandra, Bibhutibhusan, Mulk Raj Anand, etc. are for all times and all ages.
Once their taste is tested, they may choose what is good and what is bad from lots of contemporary books. Whenever a student feels puzzled in the matter of choice, he should consult his teachers or some well-read friends or the librarian of the school or college library or the nearest public library. But the last thing in choice of books is that a reader should be allowed to develop his own taste without being overtaught by his guides.
However, the choice of books also depends upon the variety of tastes, interests and needs of the readers. As in other matters, so also in the field of books-what is good for one man may not be so for another man. A person’s reading is determined as much by his education, profession and culture as by the circumstances of his life. Philosophers, scientists, sociologists, economists, lawyers, engineers, artists, litterateurs etc. seek such books as conveying the latest information in their respective subjects. But in all cases, the rule is ‘Always read the best’ which is determined by not only what is told but how it is told in a book. In short, both the content and the style of a book makes it worth reading. It is said that knowledge is power. And books are the chief source of knowledge. Yet we should choose the right books for the right purpose, as we know—good books widen our views, while bad books will lead us astray.