Reading for national development: Catching them young
This paper has highlighted the impact of efficient reading at home and outside home. It also discussed the impact of illiteracy and inefficient use of reading skills in an era of world’s advanced technology. Some agencies that can promote literacy were discussed, namely the home and community, the school libraries and bookshops. These are agencies that could encourage and arouse enjoyment and interest in a reader through parents, teachers, well trained librarians and book sellers. They should allow for diverse literary tastes in reading and not forced reading which can kill the young readers’ enthusiasm to read. The reader therefore should be helped by making books of different subjects available at home, in the school and in public libraries with well trained librarians. The publishers should make available books that are in conformity with the readers’ social environment in their bookshops throughout the nation. When a reader becomes avid in reading, he is able to explore the world of books. He is becoming an intellectual in the society. It is worth noting that a reader can become enthusiastic in reading at an early age if encouraged. The agencies mentioned in this paper could make a reader discover himself and his world if carefully handled. When a reader is caught young by exposing him to reading early enough, he will develop in speech, visual and auditory discrimination. He will gradually develop stimulating reading maturity – a phase that can make him challenge what he reads in print. There is no doubt that when a nation produces avid readers, it makes the readers enjoy the inherent reward of being properly literate. The nation too will develop and realize as Bacon says that “reading maketh the full man and the full life. It is time therefore for the nation’s reading culture be developed.
Keywords: Reading, National development, Reading skills