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Why has reading culture disappeared?


A Varsity student reading.

Sir: Once upon a time in Nigeria, youths enjoyed reading a lot even without being compelled to do so. As a result, they were able to gather a lot of books and novels. They also got to know many good authors names in the past. It was very difficult to find a student who would tell you he or she doesn’t like reading. In fact, even the dullest of the students loved reading. They read almost every book published during their time, they even competed among themselves to see who read more than the other.

Youths of those days read for entertainment purposes and also to have diverse knowledge on things happening around the globe. Students then enjoyed competing between other school students, they did a lot of quiz competition, spelling bees and so forth. All these acts were very entertaining to them because they used it to test their level of intelligence. But today the reverse is the case, as the youths of the 21st century are lazy and so they find it very disturbing to read books except during examinations or test periods, which they just read shabbily to pass and not to learn anything new. What are the youths of today turning into? What will they have to offer in future if they continue this way?

It is very unfortunate that the so-called “leaders of tomorrow,” are not always willing to task their brains to achieve a lot in life. They do not want to strive hard, they see reading as a very burdensome task. They say, “When you open a book you open a new world.” But, In our generation, a lot of students find reading just a single page of any write up troublesome, they always claim the writing is too long and bulky and as such they prefer to read the short and summarized version of the write up. Reading is not their hobby, it is their enemy and worst fear and I wonder why.

They have been counseled on several occasions, to imbibe the reading habit because education is the key to most things in life. When you have little or no idea on simple issues you are supposed to be familiar with, then you automatically become dumb and foolish because you are expected to know even the unexpected as a youth with great ambition. I wonder how we changed this much. They must always be compelled by their parents or teachers to read at all time. There used to be a time as well, when students cry and compete over good grades. Where is that now? Students care less about their grades and CGPA, they don’t feel remorseful when they fail because they believe the very little effort they make towards achieving, is enough. They wait for magic to fall from heaven.

Students prefer using all their time and energy on social media, chatting and doing all sort of wasteful and meaningless things all day, rather than reading and doing research on better things that can improve their lives. When they read for a little amount of time, they get tired and close the book until they are forced to read either because of test or exams.

Are these really the youths we want to entrust our future to? The most amazing thing about reading which these youths know not about is that, when you read, you are open to a lot of knowledge on things around you and even far away from you, your intelligent quotient (I.Q), becomes higher, you become a fast thinker and a good problem solver in the society. When they are asked the reasons why they do not study, all they say is, “I have read o and am tired of reading, I cannot come and kill myself because of book”. They are becoming lazier. The earlier these students realize that reading open all doors the better for us all…
Hassan Zainab is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

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