To encourage reading, make environment more conducive

When I was in London studying journalism and mass communication in the 1980s, I was a regular visitor at Foyles, perhaps the best bookstore historically in the world.

It satiated my desire for reading anything and everything I could lay my hands on, especially when it came to good, old-fashioned books, in particular, novels from the 1800s, which are some of the best when it comes to the English language.

There were also the amazing libraries and museums (some hidden, but worth looking for) in and around the city which were repositories that took you back through time, as far as you wanted to go.

So, overall, the environment was conducive when it came to the habit of reading, and actually encouraged it. This is something we need to develop here in Singapore ("Big push to kindle love of reading"; April 12).

After all, reading should be savoured throughout one's life. That is what gives it meaning, and raises one's level of understanding.

I can't imagine a life without books and reading. It is a very personal journey.

Upon finishing a book, to see how effectively this has been accomplished, silent contemplation is recommended. It is also a way of paying homage to this great gift that has been bestowed upon us.

It is sad that people cannot find time to read books nowadays.

Of course, there are way too many distractions, with life not being simple any longer.

But, is that excuse enough not to read? It is such a sad loss, for without reading, there is no comprehending life.

Manoraj Rajathurai