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A book is the mind’s dumbbell! 

Let’s explore the reasons behind kids’ diminishing reading habits and some ideas that may help spark things up



Has the screen totally taken over books? Many might say yes, and if it indeed is the case, they may just be missing out on the pure joy of reading. A book, at the end, is not just a story written over some 200 pages or more. It is a gradual unfolding of life, page by page, one flip at a time. It is more lasting, more fulfilling and one finds rediscovers onself by the end of the time-travel. But if a book has so many merits, why is the reading culture draining amongst students?

Bhavna Saxena, librarian at Apeejay School International, South Delhi, believes reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Speaking about the reading habits of the school students, she says, “The primary students like to issue books which are colourful, easy to read, and which basically spark their imagination. They also like graphic novels/comic books as it enhances their confidence and fluency. ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ is also a popular choice.”

She adds, “The middle year students are more inclined towards fantasy books. The ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Percy Jackson’ series are the most popular ones amongst them. In addition, I have observed, they also like classics if the books have easy language and good font size with an aesthetic presentation. So many publications are coming up with new versions of the classics to engage the new generation this way.”

Ms Bhavna mentions that parents should read together with their kids at home to lead by example. She states, “Maintaining a diary on books read or on daily happenings encourages children towards reading and writing. It is also essential to create a quiet place to read.” She adds, “Children can set reading goals. It is good to make it a routine to read a book and use a dictionary when faced with a tough word.”

The youngsters too believe that reading habits have gone downhill but it isn’t too late yet. Avid reader Avrita Dang, who is a class 9 student at Apeejay School, Mahavir Marg, praises her mother for instilling reading habits in her. She says, “My mother reads a lot, so seeing her read inspired me to pick up the habit as well. I started initially with simple picture books and soon got into the habit of reading.”

The fan of American author Rick Riordan, best known for the “Percy Jackson & the Olympians” series, argues that the rise of various online streaming platforms has affected reading habits in students. She says, “As a result of this, youngsters aren’t able to use their imagination fully.” She suggested, “Start with simple books. I recommend reading ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’, or short stories by author Sudha Murty. As you read, more books will come your way!”

Arijit Roy is a young correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]