Get children addicted to the joy of reading

Efforts such as the Sharjah book fair revive a leisure activity undermined by the growth of social media

Gulf News

The Sharjah International Book Fair once again attempts to illustrate the importance of reading. The efforts of over 920 publishers from 60 countries wouldn’t have been for nothing, judging by the fact that this year’s edition of the book fair is bigger and showcases a plethora of authors writing on a variety of topics.

The art of reading has seen dramatic setbacks. The advent of social media and digital publishing being a case in point, but there is hope in the words of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, who states that each medium has its own role, and that authors, publishers, intellectuals and finally the reader, should look for ways to ensure that a fine balance is maintained.

The consequence of all these endeavours should always be to entice the end-user — the reader. Reading was once a primary leisure activity, but people have lost the skill and passion for it, largely to their detriment. Reading sets strong foundations in children and has the potential to become a healthy addiction.

Let us not shun a tradition that can have a positive impact in the course of our lives.