Abdulaziz Al Jahdhami –
Reading is a good habit which many are unfortunately not used to. This significant habit is being ignored and undervalued as people are busy with their lives. Our life is getting busier every day. Hence, reading has not been given that much attention.
As a matter of fact, people are not getting sufficient time to read even though they have the interest. However, if there is no passion to read, people will not get the time to do it. If this is missing in their life, then reading cannot become a habit, but only a passing interest. Hence, reading will not be of interest or importance to people.
Reading as a regular habit should not be linked to how much people read. It has nothing to do with the amount of reading or the number of pages we read. What matters is it should become a must-do task in our daily calendar.
Reading a newspaper can be part of that habit. Likewise, reading a few pages in a book every day. As adults and young people, we are missing this habit. Life chores and responsibilities have taken most of our time. We don’t even have time to enjoy life with family, friends or with ourselves.
As reading is undoubtedly a very valuable habit, it should not get disconnected from our children’s life.
Even if we, as adults, missed the chance, reading should be programmed as a regular habit in our kids. From the early days of school, it should be started so they get used to it as they grow older.
Let reading become a habit that they like and enjoy with no pressure on them to practise it. Consequently, reading will become an easy task for them so that they would long for it every time.
Starting the mission of developing reading as a habit among children is really difficult, but gradually it will make their way into their hearts. We can succeed in this mission if reading is accompanied with some kind of fun. Reading for fun is a good way to encourage kids to enjoy it, so it becomes a habit later on.
It should first start with easy stuff like comics, short stories and kids’ magazines, so they don’t get bored with what they read. Also, they should not be forced to read for long periods of time.
Let the children decide how much time they want to spend on reading.
If kids feel they are not strictly controlled in managing this habit, it will urge them to manage their own time and interest to read. But, parents’ guidance and monitoring should always be there to monitor their kids’ progress.
If it happens this way, then reading would not only be fun, but will also help in their learning process. Kids will enjoy reading and learning at school too as they would have experienced the joy of reading.
I visited the 23rd edition of the Muscat International Book Fair a few days ago and witnessed a huge number of people, including families and children, at the event. Probably around 50 per cent of visitors at the fair were children.
It was exciting to see the interest of children and parents in books and reading in general. I believe it is a good sign of change in people’s interest in reading. Hopefully, a remarkable increase in the number of visitors and participants of the book fair will be witnessed every year.
Even as the fair concluded, some books have already been stocked in our bookshelves. Therefore, it’s time to revive our habit of reading and welcome new books into our library.