It is not news that the reading culture in Africa is sick and bed ridden; by this I mean Rwanda too is no exception.
Our schools emphasise majorly the reading of class work and give little or no attention to the other equally important aspect of general reading or boundary-less reading .Here I mean reading novels, journals, magazines, newspapers and any other piece of literature. Most children prefer watching Television or playing video games. As a result, reading has no place in their list of hobbies yet it is heavier in importance.
The reading culture is not reserved for students only, adults and professionals need it too. There are several professionals out there who can hardly write presentable work reports, job application letters, and speeches or even express themselves in a particular language just because they did not bother to read.
If you despise reading, you might reconsider after understanding its benefits as explained below.
Reading is an exercise of the mind, it stretches ones memory muscles, keeps the mind vibrating and active, and this prepares it to absorb more information. Mental exercise is as good as physical exercise.
Reading changes lives and way of thinking. Reading motivational books for example; “Think Big” and “Gifted Hands” both by Ben Carson can change your life forever. Trust me you will never remain the same after reading such books because they positively change ones view and attitude towards particular issues.
Reading enhances creativity. When one is armed with a store of knowledge it becomes easy for them to bring in a natural way of writing or spontaneous expression. So this may explain how great writers and eloquent speakers are produced.
Reading also boosts self esteem; if you are well read in a particular field, you become an expert and a knowledge bank. People will often look to you for answers, hence making enhancing self- confidence.
Studies have found that reading greatly improves concentration and focus. It lets the reader get deep into each word he reads hence it strengthens the mind and improves memory.
The practice supports critical thinking. One is able to make independent interpretation and analysis of issues or events and eventually draw well informed conclusions or decisions.
Reading is a healthy and cheap form of entertainment, it has been found to reduce stress and people with a reading habit seldom get bored. So it’s much better than spending your time drinking beer or watching a football match on T.V.
It also improves class grades. Students who read a great deal have been found to perform excellently in exams or tests as compared to those who don’t do so.
Reading improves ones vocabulary because ones experience with different books, poems or any other literature helps expand their vocabulary .This apparently explains why most ardent readers are good at expression.
Therefore, developing a reading culture in our society is a collective obligation we have to take upon ourselves, because its results are exceedingly rewarding.