ONE OF THE interesting questions one can ask is education for what? After all it was brought to Africa by the white man along with Christianity. But wait a minute; education was with us ages before colonialism.
That was a different kind of education. Formal education is now a welcome idea to Africans and many embraced and continue to embrace it. Some people think that we go to school in order to get a job and others know it is more than that. Should education now be considered a priority? I believe so; though I have heard others suggest that education is not a priority. Take for instance secondary education, a stage which young people should begin to accept responsibility for their own progress.
When you think of how much there is to read you may give up the idea of reading. When you attempt reading, just continue reading for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. I have tried to read and I will continue reading. When you start writing, continue writing. You need not to turn your house into a dark forest of books to attain satisfaction in reading. It is said that a good book is the life spirit of a master mind.
The power of the written word has over centuries kept us informed. Just as our bodies need exercise for strength, reading gives maturity of mind. When we read we get intellectual stimulation, develop imaginative power, our sense of curiosity is aroused and we are relieved of boredom. It is very useful to develop a reading culture quite early in life so that one may benefit from the study of great books of all times. With a brand new public library now, one should have no excuse not to read. The moment you have developed a reading habit you do not need to be rich to afford some reading books for yourself and family. Whenever I enter a book store, I realise that there is a lot more to read. I always wonder whether I will ever read all there is to read in the world.
One of the golden rules of reading is sharing. The problem with sharing is that some people are not good at sharing. In the academic field, the mother of excellence is sharing views with fellow students and teachers alike. Reading can be a bitter pill only for the lazy bones. In case you want to acquire more reading books easily then you also need to own your own for exchange. My father would and still gives me a newspaper to read whenever he buys one. The more we learn the more we know we do not know. This means learning is a lifetime process like breathing.
Sometimes you may get both information and pleasure from the same book. Textbooks, reference books, dictionaries, biographies, travel books are the first category whereas novels, anthologies of poetry, plays, short stories and so on are the second. No one kind of book is preferable to any other. Every kind has a purpose. It is natural for people to like one book more than any other kind. A person may prefer one book at one time and another book at another time. The important thing is to develop a taste for all kinds of writing as far as possible.
It is also worth remembering that all kinds of books are not to be read the same way. According to Bacon, some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. You may read a novel in a far different way from the way you read a scientific thesis or an economic report containing statistical data. Generally, the main purpose is to grasp the central theme. For some books such as Literature set books, a single reading may not be much use.
The writer is an educationist and publisher.