Thursday, 10 July 2014

Youth and Books... #BookWorm

According to a survey by The National Youth Readership Survey, National Book Trust, 2010, three fourth of total literate youth (13-35 years) in India do not read books other than their textbooks.

That doesn't sound good - 75% of young India reads only when they have to. Leisure reading is obviously an unacceptable hobby for the majority.
By the way, is 35 young? Well, the survey considers them young. And being around that age myself, I am more than happy to go along with that criteria.

I couldn't find any such previous survey.

The Indispire topic is "Reading books has reduced dramatically in today's youth..." Has it? How do we compare it to the reading habits of yesterday's youth?
Go back a couple of generations (the generations with no TV) and were the kids reading more? If I see the elderly around me, my answer would be, I don't think so.

The article I got this information from, does not mention any such previous survey, so there's no way to compare, whether kids now are reading any lesser than the ones of previous generations.
I am reading... (Image Source)

When I was in school and in college, hardly any of my friends were interested in reading books for leisure.

There has been a drastic change in how the youth spends leisure time.
Blaming TV, computers and smartphones is the easy thing to do. In my opinion, what has taken a back seat, thanks to all the electronic gadgets, is outdoor activity.

When Chetan Bhagat wrote 'Five Point Someone', suddenly there was a surge in youngsters reading. He wrote about something they could relate to, and he wrote in a language they understood easily.
The tragedy is when such reading is looked down upon.
I see it as a beginning. Starting with reading what one finds interesting (and easy) and later moving on to more variety.

The first book my son read was 'Diary of a wimpy Kid'. I had been trying to get him to read on his own for years (I have a bookshelf full of unread Roald Dahl books, abridged versions of many classics, etc.).
Finally he came across a book he enjoyed. He could relate to it and he found easy to read... a start, as I said. Now he is reading 'Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix' - the fifth book of Harry Potter series. (I feel so happy and proud)

If parents spend their leisure time reading books, there is a higher probability of children seeing it an option. Reading, like any other good habit, has to be inculcated, usually by example.
Leisure reading is to be enjoyed. All the other benefits of reading (knowledge, better concentration, improved vocabulary, etc.) are just positive side-effects that come with it.
Don't judge what one reads. Give access to good reading material. And let's take another readership survey a decade later.







References:
British Council: Trends in Indian Reading Habits





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