Saturday, April 01, 2023 | Ramadan 9, 1444 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Booklovers flocking together

Creating the culture of reading and eventually turning as a habit for children from their early ages does not happen overnight
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The significance of books in one’s life cannot be denied of course! In fact, books stand as the best friends for people at all times. A renowned Chinese proverb states, "A book is like a garden carried in the pocket". Though, it is impossible to carry a garden in one's pocket, but this saying is metaphorically indicating the value of books. They are full of beauty, wonders, science and knowledge which all cultivate the mind and spirit.


Many are in love of books; not only adults and old ones, but children too are fans of books. Although sometimes they are fond of comic books or magazines, this stimulates reading culture among them. By the time, reading becomes a habit for children as flipping the pages of cartoon magazines and comics will instill them to grab real books later. Reading then will be an irresistible behaviour and part of children' life.


Creating the culture of reading and eventually turning as a habit for children from their early ages does not happen overnight. It usually starts since their early days; parents need to read for their children every day and night. Telling fairytales and reading short stories for children before bed time paves the way for getting reading habit into their life. As they get younger, they will be reading on their own and reading will be a passion other than a habit.


Though with the advent of digital era and advanced technology, reading still attracts many children. Reading is never missed; children are given chances to get into reading opportunities. At school, for instance, teachers are bringing different reading initiatives and competitions for students. Special reading projects are implemented too for outstanding students to hone their skills. Remedial reading exercises are also designed for low performing students to improve their abilities.


Various other public initiatives are also introduced to promote reading among children and family. Book fairs and festivities, like the recent one held by the Indian Embassy in Muscat, represented by the Indian Social Club, are very useful and encouraging endeavours to revive people's interest to read and learn. The recently-held reading and literacy event was really pleasing, attracting people of all ages to enjoy the different reading competitions and talks, especially children.


The four-day event brought together book lovers of all ages with different origins and interests to promote reading culture. All had mingled with book warms and enthusiasts, authors, artists, books club owners, and many others. A wide range of exciting and insightful activities were conducted including knowledge sharing sessions, special talks by authors, panel discussions, experience sharing debates on reading-related aspects.


It was a commendable public cultural and educational event marks a great platform to promote the importance of reading and have it as a habit. Reading represents a good feed for the minds and souls alike for children, parents, school students and society overall. This has been very obvious in the event’s audience comprising families, children, parents, individuals and students too. All have merged for one cause, which the love of reading and books. Such initiative could be reoccurred every now and then in different parts of the country, so it serves similar causes.


Public entities, schools and sports or social clubs need to organise similar educational gatherings. Such events play a key role to place reading in one’s life. As reading is undoubtedly very valuable habit, it should not be disconnected from children's life. Reading should be programmed as a habit for children. Let reading be unconsciously a habit that they like and enjoy with no pressure put on them to practice it. Let kids limit their time and interest of how much time they take or how much they read.


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