“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.”(George R. R. Martin) We’re all Reading something or the other at all times. Some people read the newspaper first thing when they wake up in the morning. Others may only read articles that interest them. Different individuals read for different purposes; it could be to acquire knowledge or simply for leisure purposes.
In what manner has the practice of Reading books evolved over time?
Reading is one of the cheapest yet most adequate ways of obtaining information. To get an update on the latest world affairs, there are newspapers. When there’s something you’re not sure about and perhaps want to get a clearer idea of a particular topic, you research about it. Countless published studies or articles by experts may help you solve your problem without much effort!
Over time reading has taken up various forms. Book shops have seen a fall in sales because of the invention of e-books. People also prefer to get news updates through various news applications on their phones or laptops. The importance of Reading, however, is higher now than ever. They say knowledge is power and there is more knowledge out there waiting to be consumed.
Reading patterns of students in the present times
In today’s world, extensive reading is essential for all students studying in high schools, colleges or universities. Majority of the courses have lots of reading material which leaves the students with not much choice. Even though a majority of the students do not read for leisure purposes, they still read.
A study by Naveed Sehar about the ‘Reading Habits among Undergraduate Students of NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan’ shows that, out of the 50 students the study was conducted on, 80% were those who read. Out of that 80%, 52.5% prefer to read printed books, while the remaining percentage would rather use e-books. Furthermore, out of the students who favoured paperback/printed books, 66.6% read for academic purposes or to attain information; 19% read to improve their vocabulary and merely 14.2% students read for entertainment. This gives a rough idea of the reading trends among students in Pakistan. Although the data is not enough to be representative of the entire student body of Pakistan.
Receding reading habits in Pakistan
Reading opens up another dimension for an individual, creating new perspectives and opening up one’s mind to creative ideas. It helps you think out of the box and maybe paint pictures for you that you might not be able to envision otherwise. A self-help book would perchance help you evolve into a better version of yourself. Similarly, more or less, a history book would educate you to view the conflicts of the world in a more unusual light than you previously did.
According to a recent survey conducted in 2019 by Gallup and Gillani Foundation Pakistan, 3/4th of the Pakistani population does not read. The survey conducted on 1178 men and women from all over Pakistan concluded that only 9% of Pakistanis are keen readers.
Book reading should be encouraged from a very young age in order to develop polished reading habits by the time a child is grown up. Traditional Urdu literature is also dying over time since not much importance is given to it. Many people blame the invention of devices such as phones and iPads for having caused the decline in reading books.
How to bring back the book reading culture?
A lot of issues that preclude our society from advancing arise from the absence of understanding and knowledge. The existence of extreme racial discrimination, sexism and abuse of power is majorly due to the lack of awareness. Awareness is created through educating individuals about certain areas of problem.
Multiple sources can be used to fix the acknowledged issues. Using social media, for instance, we could reinforce the seriousness of the concerns. Reading books should most definitely not be left as a tradition for the elder generations only. Schools need to reassess educational methods that lead to cramming.
We at Dastaan strive to bring back the book reading culture. We thoroughly appreciate the crisp turning of pages while reading a book or the smell of old books paired with new ideas. Our collection at Qissa undoubtedly has a book for each and every one of you. So get your cup of coffee and your reading glasses because it’s time to dive into a world of imagination!