Decline in book reading culture

ALLIA FATIMA NAQVI

ISLAMABAD

In the country, a sharp decline among youth in reading habits has been observed during the last three decades, as books have been replaced by cell-phones, computers, laptops, iPads and tablets.
There is an old saying that ‘book is the best friend’. However, in era of technology, the time to be spent on reading books is now being spent on surfing the Internet with these gadgets.
According to researchers, the main factor responsible for this decline is our educational system and teaching practices especially at the primary level. At one time school libraries used to have a good collection of books accessible to the students.
Now modern technology has increased the literacy rate, but at the same time habit of book reading has also declined. For the improvement in book reading habit, they say that younger generation requires more attention and counselling from the parents.
Parents term book reading habit “a culture” during their times in past, and their parents were regular in book reading and bed time story books was a routine of life. On the other hand readers who are still engaged in habit of book reading ask for more libraries in every area and change in library timings which are already existed.
Libraries should open during working hours and weekdays so that parents, children and readers can spend leisure time on holidays and post working hours.
Another report says that the book reading habits have been replaced by online versions of books. It has become a rare feature now a days that the people no more visit the bazaars and shops to buy books because all the new and trendy books are easily available on the Internet with no wastage of money and time.
Book readers always remain in search of good books everywhere as they thought nothing is as satisfying to their reading instinct as the habit of book reading latest and interesting books.
But, unfortunately, books are being sold on shops with expensive prices and that is why the number of book buyers is decreasing day by day as compared to the past when shops and bazaars remained full and busy with book lovers.
The decline in book reading culture is a bad sign for the development of a society as a civilized, educated, tolerant society. The government should promote the book culture in the country so that our children may know the value of books.