Categories: OPINION

Kenyans and the non-reading culture

From time immemorial books have always been a part of today’s society and a known way of gaining knowledge. From the days of their invention man has time again and again perused through the pages of one book or another in a bid to be informed. But times have changed now, with the inception of technology and internet people have forgotten where they began and rolled over to this new side. It is quite the development but what am well aware of is the fact that with the coming of technology people have forgotten the importance of reading books and gathering knowledge. How many people can attest to reading more than one book in a month?

Ever met someone and they were so eloquent? Don’t be surprised when the only language your mouth can utter is either Swahili or mother tongue and expressing yourself in English is problematic. Through reading books you gather a lot of knowledge, learn new vocabularies and phrases that probably weren’t taught in school. Recently as I was having a chat with my colleague, she told me about something she had shared on social media but later on realized people were asking her about what she had posted. Surprisingly, even reading some paragraphs has become a huge problem for many of us.

In the world of technology everything has been simplified for man. People do not have to go to a book store to get a book, it is all in the palm of your hands. With the existence of technology books have been turned into e-books which are accessible via smartphones, computers and with any internet enabled gadget. On top of these there are a blog articles and research papers that are written for the purpose of providing the necessary information without having it go through the hustle of reading an entire book. Surprisingly there also exists audiobooks, which do not require half the amount of time a normal book does but still relays the same message just not though pages but in audio form.

Despite the various avenues that have been created for man to use it is surprising that most people do not bother to read or acquire a read. 50% of human beings can fail to read at least 2 books in the whole year. The odds have turned against us hence we have created a society of uninformed people who think they know it all because they read a few quotes or memes and watch videos via their social media websites.

The weirdest thing is that despite there being some very informative documentaries and videos that are found online they barely get attention compared to the celebrity headlined videos. The blogs that educate men and women on trivial matters are barely clicked on but ’Vera Sidika ditches current boyfriend’ gets more clicks. Our reading culture is slowly eroding and there is nothing that we can do about it.

Reading has never been a task people loved to do but an activity that is looked down upon. It is however one of the best way for anyone man or woman to get on top of their peers by acquiring more knowledge than the rest.

Reading books has been known to reduce stress as it relaxes the brain, enhances ones writing skills, stimulates the brain, expands ones vocabulary and keeps you in the know-how of what’s happening. It can also help an individual in being an expert on certain fields even without being formally trained for it. Nobody is telling you to read ten books or 50 newspapers a month, but starting with the information found in the internet is a step. Read memoirs, they give you an insight of someone’s life. The challenges and mistakes they made and even the lessons and the different ways they overcame those challenges.

Just like browsing in Facebook and Instagram, make it a culture to peruse through some pages every day. You could start with 10 pages a day. A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.




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