Where is the time… to read

Reading Time: 2 minutes
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The last word is yet to be heard on the controversy whether there has been a steady decline in the reading habit in children.Three decades ago, parents blamed the TV; they said, they found it difficult to wean their children away from sitting glued to the TV.Where then was the time to read? they asked. Remember, here read-ing refers to reading books other than text-books. What the parents forgot was, TV was a novelty in most homes in India during the first ten or fifteen years of its advent. Moreover, when they themselves managed to find time to watch the TV, how could they blame their children when they did not provide alternative forms of entertainment to suit their tastes?

Of late, parents have started faulting the computer, internet, and other electronic devices for diverting the children’s attention from books. Of course, they do ‘read’, but they read what is appearing on the computer screen. The question is repeated: where is the time for them to read books? Two kinds of reports should disturb the par-ents. One, the internet can sometimes dish out information which they themselves would not want their children to receive. Two, by spending hours in front of computers, the children impair their eye-sight; they spoil their health.

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Recently two metropolises in India had fortnight-long book fairs where children were found clamoring for books. That was enough to dispel any doubt in parents whether their wards were no longer crazy about books, or whether they had forgotten their reading habit.

Books are here to stay – no doubt about this!

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