Book reading; a lost culture in Pakistan Jerry Seinfeld said: “A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.” Books play the vital role in the character building of an individual and nation. Books expand the horizon of thoughts of its reader. Books tend to change the thought process and perspectives of people about the world. The reader becomes the individual who thinks.
Readers are the leaders
Over the years, the culture of book reading is dying in Pakistani society, unfortunately. There were the days when books were considered mandatory part of every household. Books were not only read but were discussed in the family and social gatherings.
When a society stops reading then it learns only through bitter experiences.
Unfortunately, a culture of reading books and seeking pleasure from the books have lost somewhere in the rapid race of technology and internet. Gadgets and new technological devices have won the race. People spend all day with their devices and hardly bother to read a book per year. Books are not considered captivating any longer. The number of the book buyers has declined tremendously in the past years.
Issues in the Book Reading
Fallacious education system: The basic problem lies in our flawed education system. Our education system focuses on the cramming system rather than creative and imaginative skills of students. Teachers barely focus to build the reading habit in the students. The approach of an education system is result and syllabus oriented.
The popularity of digital devices and internet: Devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops are most often blamed for the decline of book reading. People especially youth has become addicted to these devices.
Parenting: Parents are the most basic institution of learning for kids. In the past, parents used to inculcate the love of books in their kids. Books were discussed in their daily conversations but unfortunately, the number of such parents has declined now. Parents neither read nor tell their kids to read books.
A small number of libraries: another cause of this trend is the small number of libraries. Developed countries are known for their huge number of libraries but in Pakistan, this number does not go beyond hundreds. In the country of twenty million people, a small number of libraries shows the pathetic situation of book reading.
Here are some suggestions to alter this situation.
Social media: social media can play a vital role in the promotion of books. Social media can be used as a tool to promote book reading. Writers and book readers can initiate discussions about the books which will catch the attention of social media users and eventually they will get attracted to read books.
Parents: as discussed earlier parents play a vital and most basic role in the personality development of the child. Parents should try to inculcate a habit of book reading in their kids. They should read books and try to share stories of books with their kids. Discussion about the books should be part of every home. Parents should give books as a gift to their kids instead of electronic devices.
Civil society: civil society like NGOs can play their role by arranging events like book festivals. In such festivals, books should available at a discounted price so everyone can buy those books and read them.
Reforms in the education system: this is the one basic step towards the better future. The education system should promote creative reading skills of students. Instead of cramming more focus should be on the creative and imaginative skills of students. Teachers should try to promote a culture of book reading in their students.
Libraries: the number of public libraries should be increased. A number of public libraries can attract more readers and it can be heaven for those people who cannot afford to buy books due to financial containment.
The lost culture of books and libraries should be revived. Book reading can bring revolution in thoughts of people. Readers of today will become writers and thinkers of tomorrow. Real change will begin once we will begin to change our thoughts and that can be done through the book reading.
Asma Alvi is the Intern at STUDENT’INN SOLUTIONS, She has done BS in International relations from International Islamic University, Islamabad. She contributed as Content Writer. Her area of interest is International Affairs. Views expressed in this article are entirely her personal and does not reflect the policy of STUDENT’ INN SOLUTIONS.