11 Book Reading: A declining habit?

posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:39 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 10:40 AM ]
Youth these days are seemingly avoiding reading books, compared to the previous generation. The book reading habit has been brutally replaced by the advancements of modern technology.

This feature is about the other portion of the population, who has developed, unfortunately, a habit of keeping away from books. A staggering amount of young people, mainly millennials, have a sharp dislike to reading. This surely is a warning sign, as this generation will become citizens, perhaps without reading a single book outside of their textbooks. There are different factors behind this scenario, not to mention the ‘omnipresence’ of the ‘omnipotent’ technology, especially smart devices.

The importance or necessity of reading books is not the primary focus; rather, the declining reading habit among the younger generations is the major concern. However, some information never hurts. The Library of Alexandria, Egypt was one of the largest and greatest libraries of the ancient world. It was constructed under the patronage of Ptolemy dynasty during 300 BCE, and was destroyed by Roman invasion in the first century. A little story would illustrate their obsession about books. Alexandria was one of the most important ports of the eastern hemisphere, so a lot of ships used to travel through it. What the library did was fascinating; they confiscated each and every book on any ship, and copied it. During the ships’ return journey, the books were returned. This smart move added thousands of scrolls to the library. The library authority was also notorious for sending troops around, who used to copy books, and forcefully capture the original copies for the library. However questionable the practice may be, such has been the importance of books or written knowledge to some civilisations.

The good old days saw a different kind of culture, where reading books was regarded mostly in two ways. On the one hand, parents were very sceptical about books outside the school syllabus, and on the other hand, this same practice was regarded as something very constructive. Parents, apparently, were not very willing to admit the importance of reading books. However, the culture of reading was very much in practice. In one way or other, it was appreciated; students with a story book hidden inside a text book were not unusual to find. There were parents too, who had a library in their house, or who took their children to book fairs and ‘wasted’ money till their kids’ satisfaction was met. Thus, a contradictory culture has remained in this society; reading books was good, then again it was considered harmful and not encouraged.