Frequent reading increases the mental and intellectual capacity of individuals.
Books are the pathway to knowledge and their reading is the corridor to wisdom. Every April 23 is commemorated as the World Book and Copyright Day. To this effect, every year, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, (UNESCO) and international organisations representing the three major sectors of the book industry; publishers, booksellers and libraries use the day to highlight the importance of the spirit of reading.
As Cameroon joined other countries to commemorate the day, activities centre on inculcating a reading culture in children and students both at school and home. The Ministry of Arts and Culture within the framework of improving reading constantly organises events during which questions on general knowledge are asked to students.
Institutions across the country have their websites updated in both official languages to encourage reading and the spread of information. Some schools request parents to buy at least two additional books outside the official booklist to promote reading flexibility.
This initiative is to enable students understand that they need to read other books besides those treated in classrooms. A reduction in the prices of novels and other educational enriching books further targets improving the reading culture.
Presently in some cities of the nation, booksellers auction a kilogramme of books for FCFA 1,000. This move however limits the number of kilogrammes to be bought by an individual by not permitting anyone purchase more than 3kgs of books.
This price reduction is to facilitate access to books, hence inculcating a reading habit. Unfortunately, the advent of the social media and other multimedia games on the internet is playing negatively on the reading timetable of students. Instead of exploiting the several books uploaded online, those who have access to digital phones and other devices rather spend more time chatting with friends and playing video games or watching non academic oriented movies.
As experts met across the nation to commemorate this years’ edition of the World Book and Copyright Day, deliberations focused on fine-tuning strategies at improving and promoting a healthy reading culture in Cameroon.