Cultivate reading habits among the adults: NBCM

07 May 2017 / 14:09 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: With technology having slowly taken control over people's lives, the reading habit among Malaysians is also fast vanishing into thin air.
To make matters worse, this has become more worrying among adults compared to children.
National Book Council of Malaysia (NBCM) director Abd Wahab Ibrahim said in order to overcome the issue of low readership among the public, the reading habit should be cultivated since young.
He said although the scenario seems to be improving, it takes a longer period to inculcate the reading habit among Malaysians, who currently read on average 15 books a year.
"In the year 2003, just imagine we had people only reading a few pages of a book per year. We are getting there to achieve our target of 16 book titles per year to be a developed country … that's the benchmark, but at NBCM we target an average of around 20 book titles per year by the year 2020," he told Bernama at the Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair (PBAKL) 2017 at Putra World Trade Centre, recently.
PBAKL 2017, which started on April 28 and ends today, features 905 book stalls by 229 local and international exhibitors from Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, India, Australia, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, United Kingdom and the United States .
Unlike adults, Abd Wahab said school children read around 400 to 500 book titles per year, probably because they need to read their school textbooks and literature books.
"We need to get the public to read more and how we get them to access quality books should be the concern right now," said Abd Wahab, adding that the council together with the National Library (PNM) have been working on initiatives to boost the level of readership.
He believes penetrating digital technology in the initiatives would help increase the number of adults who read books.
"We have also started applying that method throughout our exhibition especially in our treasure hunt activity using an app called 'AR digital book hunt@PBAKL', and the app will give you the 3D pictures and clues about a treasure," he said.
In line with the theme 'Negaraku: Kepintaran Kreatif Melakar Tamadun' (My Nation: Smart Creativity Trailblazes Civilisation) for PBAKL 2017, Abd Wahab also said that the council will be working on linking the love for books and nation, among the public especially the adults.
"For instance, we have competitions on creative photos expressing love and pride for the nation and it must be related to books too," he said, adding that PBAKL 2017 expects to attract 2.5 million visitors compared to last year's 2.2 million visitors.
"Our vision here in NBCM is to ensure every Malaysian would have a book in their hand by the year 2020. It's possible to achieve because everyone would have at least a smartphone in their hand and they can read easily through downloaded e-books … it's just attitude that we need to work on," he added. — Bernama

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