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What Happened To Our Reading Culture?

You know when I was growing up in the mid 80's we used to read so much novels . It was hip to read then. We were always exchanging novels with friends. There where good books everywhere. Does anybody remember the pacesetters series? Or books like The passport of Mallam Ilyia, An African nights entertainment, Juju rock all written by Cyprian Ekwensi.What about The black temple and the instrument by Victor Thorpe, On the road by Kalu Okpi, A fresh start , by Helen Ovbiageli. There are others whose authors I cant recall, like Have mercy,The south African affair, The mark of the cobra, all pacesetters series. Then lets move on to African writers series. Of cause, everyone knows Things fall apart By Chinua Achebe, but how about girls at war and no longer at ease by the same author? The narrow path was very interesting too, one of those few books you could read over and over again. Then there was this hilarious one by Amos Tutuola, The palmwine drinkard(sic).

Those were the days. kids these days just want to watch T.V. Where did all this books and writers go. why have we been swamped with idiotic home videos? PLZZZ , someone teach these kids how to read! Turn off your T.V. bring out a book and read to a kid.

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35 answers

That is the beauty of science and Tech!

POLLUTED EVERYTHING, but we are happy!

But, determined students are still reading

like die.

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IF YOU WANT TO HIDE SOMETHING FROM SOMEONE, PUT IT IN A BOOK I HEARD

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The trend is so bad that even on nairaland you find people responding to threads without reading and comprehending what was actually posted.

You see comments such as "who has time to read all this, why not summarise?"

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New content in a new medium sounds like a fine idea but I honestly don't think it's gonna help much in increasing readership. The only people who'll find this interesting are the people who are already reading.

I think it's time to accept the fact that reading is going the way of all the other extinct pasttimes like trainspotting, bird watching.

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Reading culture has really nosedived in modern times. This cannot be attributed entirely to the younger generation, the older generations are actually the culprit of this debacle and the correction equally lies in their hands. In today's world of TV (24/7), ipod, internet, mobile phones, video games and films who will not fall victim of complaisance. Our elders where able to cultivate reading habit because due to quest for pastimes they take to reading bestsellers and local novels.

The onus to arrest this drifting lie in individual wills especially the parents. The Bible says " train up a child in the way he should go and when he grows up he will not depart from it". We should cultivate reading culture in our various homes. The modern facilities above though good should not be allowed to becloud the virtue of reading good books.

Habits they say die hard let’s imbibe reading habit and our society will be better for it.

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I guess people are so busy nowadays and parents don't really care anymore. Kids watch tons of TV, listen to music, gaming, etc, it's a struggle getting today's kids to read school books, not to talk of leisure reading.

Sad, truly sad.

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What are we the writers doing to circulate our works?

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What happened to Nigeria's reading culture?

If anyone on this thread can do something about solving the problem creatively, he or she will make a lot of money. The person will also add value to the lives of Nigerian Children. Just think. Cheers.

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I think it has to do with parents and the global world, u get to sit in front of the internet all day, or watching films that are not meaningful, unlike when I was growing up in the eighties, i use to read alot still do sha, but mostly weekends. I started reading story books from class 1, unlike now when what most children do is just watching cartoon all day, why can't a mother or father teacher their children to cultivate the habit of reading, honestly reading helps.

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Children love visuals. Picture books and comic strips will interest any kid. Like for me it was Obelix and Asterix. Long b4 I cld read I knew every pic inside out. Buy lots of comics , Tintin, superman peanuts and you could start ur own by getting the kids to cut out cartoons from old newspapers and gummuing them to the pages of a book. It makes reading fun untill they are well grounded and can visualize without external aids.

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Please can we get more suggestions on how to revive our reading culture or should I say of our children? I don't know how far we parents can go but surely we can help our children.

Personally I used to read a lot but that changed although my love for reading remains, I spend a lot on books (haven't read most) I remember those days when I would read from morning till night. Now the computer is trying to destroy whatever is remaining of the damages caused by too much 'goodtime' However, it is one of the best gifts parents can give to their children, teach them to love reading.

What we do for our kids is we buy a lot of kiddy books, we read to them, strict restriction on TV, zero tolerance for nigerian home movie in our home, we (especially my wife) read to ourselves while they watch besides reading to them, but I think the best would be living out that culture ourselves.

More suggestions please?

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Sisikill, yeah you put it in prespective there. Thats the power of imagination,only reading can unleash that awesome power. In movies you can only see what the director can show and he might be constrained by money, time or skill. So you get that feeling too? Atimes you drop the book and gaze into nothingness just visualising evrything.

Hackney, you remember ''A fresh start?'' Nice Book. Very calm and realistically romantic I read it at least 10 times!

Who remembers Dilibe Onyeama and Godfathers of voodoo? Scary book men. Before the advent of Stephen King and Dean Koontz if you wanted a bad scare it was Dilibe Onyeama, or ''50 true tales of terror'' he wrote nigger at Eton too.

There is this book i have been looking for , for ages past. It is actually a collection of 4 stories. The title is ''Great stories for children'' Some I think was based in France Or Switzerland. I can remember the title of two stories ''Happy acres'' and ''Bob's jungle trip'' Wonderful book! It teaches morals like forgiveness and tolerance in very subtle ways. Trust me, you will love it!

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With all the social networks and internet search engines who has time to sit and read. Computer and internet has taking over reading.

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@poster

Pacesetters! i remember those novels!!

I remember 'a fresh start'

The most vivd evidence that the current secondary school age youths do not read as much, is in the quality of

their grammar usage (both written and oral).

It seems to be a global trend too.

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our declining reading culture or better put, our scant regards for reading matter is at the heart of many of our problems as a nation.A reading people is a questioning and discerning citizenry. People who do not read do not question the status quo and their continued existence faces serious threats. We will start to make incremental progress when we pay more premium to books.

we have nothing to lose but our ignorance and a blissful world to gain. Nigerian Bibliophiles, arise!

@Slap1. You appeared interested in Jude Dibia's two books-Walking with shadows and Unbridled.Do send me a text on 07034170121.

r

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most parents are all work and no books, so who has time to read to their children!

it is so bad that some parents do not remember their wards have assignments!

it is PS all the way, or better put, ALL PATHS LEAD TO THE SITTING ROOM(MTV to be precise!),

who wants to read when there is always 'inje' or 'micro-chips' to pass examinations?

you would have to ask this question over and over, it may even become rhetorical as it is for many who have openly asked!!!

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Hi,

Its true that our reading culture is on the decline, and frankly many factors are to blame for this. that not withstanding though, all hands must be on deck to protect one of mankind's greatest inventions; the ability to represent and recognize ideas in the written form.

You can find a couple of FREE books at this site. www.greatbooks.350.com

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Hustle and bustle happened to the reading culture

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can't really recall how many times i read the NARROW PATH, THE BURNING BUSH, FAR FROM THE MADDENING CROWD - Thomas Hardy and so many other interesting books. It actually paid off.

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OP,

I read ROOTS before the movie was released. The movie, in my opinion, was crap compared to the details in the book.

One reason why the book culture dropped, in Phc, was as a result of book prices going higher whereas the price of video players/tapes were crashing

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Hey, thanks posters there is hope yet if this thread got this long! I thought everyone was fooling around in the romance thread.

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@chase2

u have very good gramatic composure in your post

keep it up

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I guess its alot of our culture at stake here. well transfer al d books to the computer. Its called e-reading!

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It is no longer a Nigerian problem but a western one too. My experience as a teacher in the UK has opened my eyes to the serious lack of motivation to read by students. If you give them a task and ask them to read the instructions and answer questions thereafter what you keep hearing is " Sir, oh it's long", "it's boring". They literally expect you to tell them what to do from start to finish - basically you just find yourself spoon-feeding them. As mentioned earlier, the explosion of modern day technology is proving more of a hindrance than a help to engaging young people. Over reliance on technology in the long-run will ultimately reduce the intellectual capacity for producing tomorrow's doctors, engineers, teachers, nurses etc.

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@semid4lyfe, Yeah, goodone, but browsing is kinda different. And yes I read a massive novel in one day cos the owner wanted it back the next. I think it was by Sheldon too, about gold In South Africa.

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@ Sisi-Kill

Yes, I remember 'Time Changes Yesterday'. It was written by Nyengi Koin I think. It was one of the compulsory literature books I read in JSS 3. . . .very interesting novel. . .aaah, I still remember how little Enitan went about matchmaking her dad and her teacher, lol

@ topic

I read as if my life depended on it back in sec schl. I still recall how I bought Sidney Sheldon's Doomsday Conspiracy and used it to exchange, borrow and read all the Sheldon's that were in circulation in my school then. Name it, I read all the known foreign authors from Enid Blyton, Carolyn Keene (of Nancy Drew fame), James Hardley Chase, Sidney Sheldon, Robert Ludlum, Jackie Collins, Harold Robbins, Danielle Steele, Judith McNaught, Jeffrey Archer, Frederick Forsyth etc. As in, I read every back then. I recall there was a Jeffrey Archer novel (The 11th Commandment) that my elder brother borrowed from a friend when I was in JSS 3. He had only 2 days to read it and he said he was returning it unfailingly on the 2nd day. He dropped the book when he finished reading it around 8pm at night. . . . I then picked up the book and read it overnite without sleeping cos he was returning it in themorning. . .Yes, I was that FANATICAL back then. As for those pacesetters like Mark of the Cobra by Valentine Alilly, Coup by Kalu Okpi, The Worshippers by Victor Thorpe etc, the African Writer Series novels and other African novels by other publishers. . .I read most of them during the long hols between school in the village cos my Dad's Library was stocked with these novels. Now, I hardly read anymore as I'm addicted to browsing and watching movies. . . . .aah, so SAD. I wish I could go back to those days when I read a lot but I know it ain't possible. . .no time, lol

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You should find Pacesetter books at CMS, I got a couple of the 'JUMP' series there sometimes ago (not quite a year )

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Chances are you will only find pacestters in 2nd handbook stores these days. left naija a while back so not sure if all those bend down and pick 2nd hand book sellers still abound.

@ Poster

the palmwine drunkard is a classic i love that book to bits d way d author translated our native proverbs into english is genius. You remember that sayin bout the rat and d sese beans.

Like people have rightly said its the advent of all the technology age killing off interest in books. Kids are more likely to collect cds, dvd and games that they will books i think its a sad trend though. No more talk of all them African Writers Series and youths now dont benefit from the wealth of knowledge folks like Wole Soyinka share thru their writings,

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I know what you're talking about. It's just that in those days, this home video of a thing was not this rampant. I can still remember how i use to

read african series well into the night without getting sleepy because of the interesting stories and the suspense there.

These days, it's Genevieve here, Nicole kidman there.

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People still read but their numbers i must admit have fallen drastically.There're so many other options to reading these days.

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Are you an author or a publisher? (JK.) Sometimes, the same question as yours keep pondering my heart especially when i see good mentality giving way to Frivolities and Nonsensical and devilish communication that is being inculpated into our 'Supposed Leaders of Tomorrow'.

I had been interested in Literature and knowing things that goes beyond my age ever since the days i learnt to read and write, Though people would chastise me for burying my head into books of African Writers' Series ( AWS), thinking that they are too advanced for my age but then, those books though professionally grammaticized, they created imaginary vividness in me and embedded wisdom into my Head,

Most times when i listen to the nonsense ranted by our musicians too, i just can't help feeling like destroying any of their CDs that come my way (Who is responsible for what we do to Children? Is it the internet or the Stars on television?) The latter is mostly responsible for the melancholies erupted by us (youths of today) and it is mostly because they (the so-called stars) grew up with a sick mentality,

When editing and uploading stuffs on Wikipedia and/or reading on the internet, my mates would laugh at me and tell me what good it will do if i could apply those knowledge to make Magas have a clean shower ( rip them off their belongings) but i just wonder, What does the future hold for this Country when the supposed leaders of tomorrow do not know that they do not know what they do not know? Isn't it saddening? It is just elongating the time to start a 'Best Nigeria' let alone of a 'Best, '

Whose fault is it anyway? It is the Govt's fault because they are not interested in the future and so they watch while 'SPECIAL CENTRES' take it momentous rise and so people are not interested in 'Reading' let alone of making it a 'Culture',

I may be just 19, but i know well enough that Nigeria is still far away from being a 'Great Nation' if we can't be made to be interested only in 'Good Knowledge' through the writing of our elders. I am still lobbying to read more of Ernest Hemingway, Robert Ludlum, Michael Crichton, Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, Buchi Emecheta, e.t.c Can you imagine what the future of our country will be if only we could be brought up with books from people like these instead of learning how to make 'Maga Pay' and 'Shayo' ?

May God save Nigeria.

Good People. Good Nation.

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@Poster

I am with you all the way. It pains me that both adults and children do not read anymore. But then, the world is changing and books seem to be going out of fashion.

I was at the book market behind CSS bookshop at CMS to look for 'Tales from Arabian Nights' and nobody knew what I was talking about.

Of course if I had asked for 'Shrek' DVD that would have been more familiar.

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It also doesn't help that the bookshops in Naija don't consider themselves custodians of literary works. I can't count how many books stores i've gone to looking for pacesetters, only to have them look at me like i've just asked if they carried kryptonite. 

By the way, anyone know where i can find pacesetters in Lagos?

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It seems that it happened in the whole word. children do not want to read. they have a lot of bright books, but for the it does not mean anything. I have a son and the same problem. He does not want to read. He has a lot of books, he sees me always reading, but he preferes street, sport, computer.

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