In an increasingly digitised and fast-moving society, there are many distractions, and communications are frequently reduced to sound bites.
As a result, reading as a habit has taken a beating. If this trend continues, we will not be any wiser or healthier as a people ("No time to read? Help is at hand"; June 4).
We should inculcate a lifelong love affair with books because reading is one of the basic building blocks to achieving success and living a great life.
Reading is like having a ticket to board a special vehicle, a cheap way to go on an amazing journey to discover more knowledge, events and experiences, and roam the expanse of space, time and history.
It is an exploratory trip to discover truths and realities, and, in the process, it will help us find our purpose and place under the sun.
We can go on the trip for as long and as intensively as we want, and do it from the comfort and security of our home.
Reading can help us probe the smartest minds and learn from the wisest beings.
We can walk where they have walked and go where they have gone. We can learn from their failures and build on their successes.
We can gain a deeper view of almost every idea, concept, emotion and body of knowledge.
Books are like stars that can help us to navigate our lives.
They trigger ideas and stretch our imagination. They can show us who we are and who we should be. They teach us how to live our lives from the start to the end, and help us go from where we are now to our rightful destination.
The more we read, the more we can learn. The more we learn, the more we can improve and achieve better results.
What oxygen is to life, words of wisdom are to our soul, and they help us build strong structures and scaffolds in life, to help us respond to the complex and ever-changing currents of life.
In that sense, a good book continues forever. The final "chapter" is about how we have applied the lessons we have learnt.
The best "ending" of a book is how we have leveraged the lessons to make a positive difference to the people and environment around us.
Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)