You can’t read on an empty stomach

Editor,  REFERENCE IS made to Kenneth Agutamba’s article, “Which book are you currently reading?” (Sunday Times, April 27).
A young lady reads a book at Kigali Public Library. File.
A young lady reads a book at Kigali Public Library. File.

Editor, 

REFERENCE IS made to Kenneth Agutamba’s article, “Which book are you currently reading?” (Sunday Times, April 27).

This is a good read. I don’t know where I belong; the serious or the frivolous because I didn’t know Wednesday was World Book Day as I went about the day’s stress factors of making ends meet. Is this perhaps the reason why most of us have no time for a book or two in a month?

To be honest, the last book I read was five months ago and I didn’t even concentrate as I kept letting off for other responsibilities.  

To read, people need to improve their incomes, increase their standards of living and create space in their daily schedules to accommodate a book – that’s what people in developed countries do. 

I will certainly improve myself, and next time I will have an answer to your question. Which book I’m currently reading? None at the moment, (hides in embarrassment).

Cathy Atwine, Rwanda

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GREAT ARTICLE, dear Mr. Agutamba. I agree with Cathy Atwine’s comments: To make room for reading in their daily schedule, Africans need to improve their living standards and be financially more secure.

It is only after the subsistence needs (food, clothing, shelter) having been met that a person can think of other needs. A person whose body is unfulfilled cannot think about feeding their mind and/or soul. 

Decades ago, Abraham Maslow studied this phenomenon and developed his famous theory of “Hierarchy of Needs”. He said that: “Physiological needs are the physical requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail. Physiological needs are thought to be the most important; they should be met first”.

As we can see, we Africans need some requirements to be met before lifting a book. You can’t read when you spent two days without lunch, while you’re busy looking for children’s school fees, and several important things that we need in life. We all want to read, but certain things must come first – that’s survival.

Richard Safari, United States

 

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