A person whose only cultivated habit is reading is like a gardener who only grows vegetables. Both books and vegetables are excellent specimens of knowledge and food respectively (with books scoring over vegetables when it comes to the taste), but they aren’t enough. It’s like saying that one can bullshit their way through an essay in the English Language Board examination by focusing solely on the theory behind writing and never really practicing. I don’t know why, but that sounds a lot like me.
Now, get this clear: I am not, in any way, demeaning the habit of reading (my comparison to vegetables should have made that pretty obvious. Both are healthy and unpopular). Reading is probably one of the best habits that a person could cultivate. However, it’s not the only habit worth developing. There is no single habit that is worthy of bearing that hallowed crown; because human development requires a multi-faceted approach and there is no single habit which can provide all of this.
What’s the big deal if we take a one-dimensional approach? Let’s enter the hypothetical situation world. Our protagonist, Mr. X, reads books (we choose a specific gender to make the pronouns easier). Let’s rephrase that: the only thing he does is read books. He does breathe, eat, go to school and so on and so forth, but he does not play games, or watch television and the like. What happens to X? Let’s divide it the effects into multiple “aspects”. First, the physical aspect. X does not play games, or engage in any form of physical exercise. Therefore, his physical state is understandably in tatters. Then comes the General Knowledge aspect. X reads books, but exists in a dream world. Since he does not read or watch anything else, his knowledge of the world is nil. Now, say: would you want to be X?
Now, you may argue that reading is the only habit that needs to be perfected. No. To continue with the gardener analogy, there’s no point in growing many beautiful vegetables and keeping a one square metre patch for fruits, because the fruits won’t grow well. The results are pretty much the same.
Reading is definitely a great habit to develop and culture. Such a habit needs to be developed in order to read boring essays like the one you’re reading right now. However, remember this: there’s a life outside of reading. There exists a world out there – an imperfect one, but it’s the real one. Unless some of those conspiracy theories I read about recently are true.