ENCOURAGING THE READING CULTURE IN A DEVELOPING COUNTRY – GHANA’S SOCIAL MEDIA ERA (Contd)

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Young black girl with a fun afro hairstyle sitting at a table at home browsing the internet on a tablet computer with bright sun flare through the window alongside her

Secondly, one time I went to a bookshop with my sister, a senior high school student, who from observation likes to watch movies than to read. I was going to pick some books to read and I had coaxed her to escort me. When we got there, a plethora of African and international books you can ever think of were neatly arranged on the shelves. As we moved from shelf to shelf, she saw a book and she quickly took it and started to flip through. I got closer to take a look and saw that it was a comic book – graphic novel of Spiderman. It was about 56 pages and she was so fascinated about the book that she started flipping and reading the actions and the conversations. I then moved on to search for my book. When I came back, she had taken four other graphic novels and she was eager to get home and start reading. So what I learnt from what happened was that, it all boils down to that fact that if we want to encourage the reading culture, I believe, writers should also be creative in the way that they present their works. Most African novels lack any pictures or illustrations and for that matter the reader have to form a mental picture or whatever he or she reads. I believe a little creativity could be added to the works by incorporating some illustrations and animations. Also writers can also write stories in the form of graphic novels and also as comic books. The Unites States of America makes so much money only through the sale and patronage of graphic novels and comic books and has also boosted the reading culture in their children. I believe we can also experience a similar progress if writers can use a little innovation and creativity in writing their books.

Furthermore, hard work breaks no bones, but rather turns stones. After every victory, there is party and after every achievement there is celebration. I also believe that to encourage the reading culture in an era were social media seems to be taking all the attention and interest of most children, stakeholders and philanthropist can also organise reading competition for the student to spur the art of reading. I believe this may be a little vague but I like to clarify it in the sense that, the more one reads, the more knowledge on acquires and a competition can be held or readers quizzed to ascertain the reading ability of students. And this competitions, can have the icing of scholarships and incentives to motivate the reading culture in children. Reading and Writing competitions can be instituted in all levels in the educational cycle to encourage reading. This will require a lot of sacrifice and dedication and I believe it will have the effect we hope to achieve. I must confess most of the things I have learnt in school were not from text books or at lectures or in the class room, but rather from books I have read, and that is one of my secrets of learning, and I believe this is a great act to consider.

Moreover, reading materials have to be available to increase reading culture among people. For people to read there must be the availability of the reading books. An effective way of encouraging the reading culture in children is by making books available to students and teachers and schools libraries so they can have direct access to them. A friend once told me he had a little sister who was an avid reader. She reads almost everything she gets her hands on. But recently she has lost the passion to read because she was not getting her hands on new books to read. That really stroke nerve in me, such that I quickly went to my library archives to find some old books and quickly gave them to him to give to his sister. People like this are the ones that need this and in failing them we fail our motherland. I know it may sound a bit arcane with people giving money to support reading, but I believe it will pay off and I personally will be glad if this initiation succeeds.

Finally, to encourage the reading culture, I believe apart from libraries that are already established in schools, community or vicinity libraries can also be established so children can have easy access to books even at home. Also the cost of purchasing of books are a bit higher and that also deters most people from cultivating the reading culture. I believe books can be subsidised so people can get copies or have easy access to them and read. Also another effective way social media can aid in the cultivating of the reading culture is if online versions of books are also made available. Online book pages and domains can be instituted in all parts of the country in the form of PDF, EPUBs KINDLE VERSON, etc. This awareness can be a made using social media as a tool, and I believe it can contribute to the reading culture in Ghana

In conclusion, I like to say that, reading is fun, and I believe any group and non –governmental organisation that is keen on Ghanaians cultivating the reading culture should hold seminars to expound on the magic and the blessing that comes with reading. I believe this may be able to alter the notions of many Ghanaians about reading and hopefully we can have more people eager and desperate to cultivate the reading culture in a developing country like Ghana.

Written by

Jacob Amanor Osae

Jacob A. Osae

Posted by Jacob A. Osae

Poet + Songwriter + Screen Writer + Sci Fi & Fantssy Writer = Physicist.

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