Ilona Yusuf, a poet muses about the demise of the reading culture. This narrative echoes my anguish over the loss of heritage and value of books and reading.
“To me, this represents the demise of reading in a country that needs connection with its heritage, with among other things, its literary traditions; what people, without quite considering the meaning of the word, term culture. Culture to me is what you grow up with, what you breathe, and includes not just the clothes you wear or the people you mix with, but a tradition, which comprises music, literature, poetry, history, folk heritage. And so a part of it would be not to force scholarly texts on the young but to make some texts a part of the school curriculum to whet the appetite of those who might become interested enough to explore it, and to give some knowledge to those who would not…
..No, this question of what happened to reading is one to consider, to retrieve it from the quagmire of disinterest in which it’s wallowing, a victim of the commercialism which has led some leading publishers and bookshop owners to sacrifice books for books’ sake, an idea which belongs somewhere at the bottom of the heap, to the altar of commerce, along with a blindfolded educational system and an eclipse of heritage.”
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