PETALING JAYA – Sultan Nazrin Shah, who always exhibitexcellent grace, intellect and eloquence in each of his royal address, sees knowledge and books as his most priceless belongings.
â€œKnowledge will always be in abundance and there will always be somethingnew to learn. It is only by having a love for knowledge and books that we can keep up to date with the world. Reading does not only increase us in knowledge but helps us form excellent ethics,â€ said the Sultan of Perak.
Sultan Nazrin Shah was speaking during an informal meeting with reporters at his private library in Petaling Jaya, recently.
The library holds a collection of some 30,000 books and is his favourite place to be in his free time.
A BOOKWORM AT HEART
Sultan Nazrin Shah said a love for books was something that needed to be inculcated in a person from young as it was akin to sowing the seeds of knowledge.
â€œThe first thing I look for every time I go out is a bookstore. I have once bought a trolley full of books, and I can spend an entire day, from morning till evening, simply reading.
â€œMy children have also exhibited a similar enthusiasm for books. Every night, before bedtime, I would spend my time reading to them. Even if I have matters to attend to outside, I would try my best to return in time to read to them,â€ he revealed.
He said he had formed the habit of reading and amassing books since childhood and it was what prompted him to realise his dream of owning a library replete with his favourite books.
â€œI had so many books and they were all over the place that when I wanted to read them, I couldn’t find them. So I told my architect that what I wanted was not a library in a house, but a house in a library. That should be the concept,â€ he said.
Sultan Nazrin Shahâ€™s modern contemporary library houses books of various genres. However, his favourite reads are on economy, philosophy, history and politics.
He said even though modern technology has enabled books to be read on screens, it could not substitute the real thing.
He also believed that it made for the perfect gift.
â€œMaybe Iâ€™m old fashioned, but to me, books have a â€œfriendlierâ€ feel. You can hold it, turn the pages with your hands and write notes on its pages. People may prefer to read books on screens today, but I find reading physical books a more fulfilling experience.
â€œBooks are always the best gifts. If I find the contents of a book engaging, I would buy a few more copies as gifts for others,â€ he said.
Sultan Nazrin Shah said the rakyat needed to realise the importance of knowledge and nurture the love for books from an early age.
â€œWork at disciplining ourselves to read for several hours a day. Do it consistently. Find enjoyable ways to read, using whatever medium we find most suitable, as long as we donâ€™t give up the search for knowledge,â€ he said.
Besides reading, Sultan Nazrin Shah also enjoys writing, collecting old manuscripts and collecting local paintings.
He is also planning on opening a gallery of private photo collections in Kuala Kangsar or Ipoh, Perak. – BERNAMA