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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dust on Books or on Our Brains?


Students are the biggest asset a nation can ever have. Not handled with care, those same students can easily become a liability. Students and youth always carry the tag of fragile but somehow our elders are unable to read that tag.
There is no age-barring when it comes to book-reading but the youth, being in the period of getting nourished, has to be the one getting full fruits out of the books by reading them. No one can negate the importance of book-reading. It doesn’t matter what is the genre of the book. One has to read any book that he can find. I won’t discuss the importance of book-reading further because we all have written a lot of essays on the subject in matriculation.
Every student has his own set of library at his home. Majority of the students only keep books in their small library that are usually text books and related to their current education. Very few, who keep other books in the shelf, somehow don’t care to put a hand on those books. In fact, housemaid is the one, who touches those books more often in the name of dusting.
Same is the case in universities. We have some humungous libraries in our universities. Unlike, the home, students go there and do consult those books but unfortunately, majority only consult when there is a class assignment or quiz. And sometimes, we find students in libraries in the shape of couples and rest, well we all have an idea about.
There can be so many reasons of why we don’t indulge ourselves in the books. For starters, our schooling doesn’t motivate us to read books. Our parents do narrate story books to us and we build our lives on that phenomenon. When we enter the school, our teachers do the honor of book-reading for us and there starts all the problems.
Every student gets a Qari, who teaches him how to read and recite the Holy Quran (the book that is a guide to our whole life) and after he is done with his duty of teaching, the Holy Quran goes back to the highest placed cupboard, untouched for months or even years.
Prescribed text books in our syllabi is another reason. Covering the full curriculum is the first and unfortunately, the last objective in the schools. We do not care to consult other books and even in some universities, the practice of prescribed books is prevailing. Students are always in search of a short-cut and there they find one.
The biggest reason, one can cite about our habit of not reading books could be attributed to the society and our environment. The students in the West are very much interested in reading books and opening up their minds. The reason I find for their interest in the books is the opportunity provided to them by the society. The best place they have for reading is the public transport. Virtually, every student there travels through metros or double deckers. Their journey to university is usually long and that gives them the chance to study.
Leave studying in public transport; we don’t even have a good transportation system. Majority of students, who can afford, either come on their own cars or on bikes. And those who take buses or vans, ask them, how they reach their destination. They just cannot open a book in the van, only plugging in the earphones of ipod is the possibility in the vans. We do have an option of ebooks in our smartphones and even one in four possesses a smartphone in Pakistan but still the culture of ebooks and their availability is a distant possibility for us.
To get different ideas over the subject, I contacted my peers to have their insight. Many said that the societal luxuries i.e. lack of public libraries, television, internet and dating culture (cheap call rates and night packages) etc are all contributing to this failure of ours. Distance from religion is the main reason, one said. The reasons could be various but there is a broad consensus that we need to get back to the books. Internet and cellphones could be consuming our attention but at the same time, they can also be a source of information and book-reading for us. It is all about making the best use of our facilities.
A very interesting instance I know of is of my friend. He broke up a few months ago and the loneliness of that break up took him to his book shelf and he developed a good habit of reading. I wonder, if we all have to go through that moment to start diving into the books.
Our majority does not read books. Who is at fault? The system or we ourselves? I believe, each one of us is responsible for this illness. Government has been unable to provide us with a conducive environment and on a personal level, our priorities have been everything but book-reading. We have to gaze at the dust present on our book shelves and realize that this dust is not on the books but this dust is on our brains.

1 comments:

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