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What Happened To Our Reading Culture? - Literature - Nairaland

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What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by Dimka76(m): 3:46pm On Jan 30, 2010
You know when I was growing up in the mid 80's we used to read so much novels . It was hip to read then. We were always exchanging novels with friends. There where good books everywhere. Does anybody remember the pacesetters series? Or books like The passport of Mallam Ilyia, An African nights entertainment, Juju rock all written by Cyprian Ekwensi.What about The black temple and the instrument by Victor Thorpe, On the road by Kalu Okpi, A fresh start , by Helen Ovbiageli. There are others whose authors I cant recall, like Have mercy,The south African affair, The mark of the cobra, all pacesetters series. Then lets move on to African writers series. Of cause, everyone knows Things fall apart By Chinua Achebe, but how about girls at war and no longer at ease by the same author? The narrow path was very interesting too, one of those few books you could read over and over again. Then there was this hilarious one by Amos Tutuola, The palmwine drinkard(sic).
Those were the days. kids these days just want to watch T.V. Where did all this books and writers go. why have we been swamped with idiotic home videos? PLZZZ , someone teach these kids how to read! Turn off your T.V. bring out a book and read to a kid.
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by divchynka(f): 10:12pm On Jan 30, 2010
It seems that it happened in the whole word. children do not want to read. they have a lot of bright books, but for the it does not mean anything. I have a son and the same problem. He does not want to read. He has a lot of books, he sees me always reading, but he preferes street, sport, computer.
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by SisiKill1: 9:07pm On Jan 31, 2010
@ Topic
It's DOA or in this case DBA. . .Dead BEFORE arrival.

TV, computers, ipod, video and hand held games have shortened our attention span and turned us to visual people. We no longer have the patience to read because. . .well because there is no action, no fun. My niece does not understand why she should read Hamlet when she can watch Mel Gibson. Oy!

If you're interested, read Neil Postman's book AMUSING OURSELVES TO DEATH, it sorta touches on this subject. . . .In a fun way. Ya know it's gotta be fun or no one will read it. Lol cheesy
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by SisiKill1: 9:16pm On Jan 31, 2010
It also doesn't help that the bookshops in Naija don't consider themselves custodians of literary works. I can't count how many books stores i've gone to looking for pacesetters, only to have them look at me like i've just asked if they carried kryptonite. 

By the way, anyone know where i can find pacesetters in Lagos?
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by queenesthr(f): 1:25pm On Feb 02, 2010
@Poster

I am with you all the way. It pains me that both adults and children do not read anymore. But then, the world is changing and books seem to be going out of fashion.

I was at the book market behind CSS bookshop at CMS to look for 'Tales from Arabian Nights' and nobody knew what I was talking about.

Of course if I had asked for 'Shrek' DVD that would have been more familiar.
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by chase2(m): 1:36pm On Feb 02, 2010
Are you an author or a publisher? (JK.) Sometimes, the same question as yours keep pondering my heart especially when i see good mentality giving way to Frivolities and Nonsensical and devilish communication that is being inculpated into our 'Supposed Leaders of Tomorrow'.

I had been interested in Literature and knowing things that goes beyond my age ever since the days i learnt to read and write, Though people would chastise me for burying my head into books of African Writers' Series ( AWS), thinking that they are too advanced for my age but then, those books though professionally grammaticized, they created imaginary vividness in me and embedded wisdom into my Head,

Most times when i listen to the nonsense ranted by our musicians too, i just can't help feeling like destroying any of their CDs that come my way (Who is responsible for what we do to Children? Is it the internet or the Stars on television?) The latter is mostly responsible for the melancholies erupted by us (youths of today) and it is mostly because they (the so-called stars) grew up with a sick mentality,

When editing and uploading stuffs on Wikipedia and/or reading on the internet, my mates would laugh at me and tell me what good it will do if i could apply those knowledge to make Magas have a clean shower ( rip them off their belongings) but i just wonder, What does the future hold for this Country when the supposed leaders of tomorrow do not know that they do not know what they do not know? Isn't it saddening? It is just elongating the time to start a 'Best Nigeria' let alone of a 'Best, '

Whose fault is it anyway? It is the Govt's fault because they are not interested in the future and so they watch while 'SPECIAL CENTRES' take it momentous rise and so people are not interested in 'Reading' let alone of making it a 'Culture',

I may be just 19, but i know well enough that Nigeria is still far away from being a 'Great Nation' if we can't be made to be interested only in 'Good Knowledge' through the writing of our elders. I am still lobbying to read more of Ernest Hemingway, Robert Ludlum, Michael Crichton, Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, Buchi Emecheta, e.t.c Can you imagine what the future of our country will be if only we could be brought up with books from people like these instead of learning how to make 'Maga Pay' and 'Shayo' ?

May God save Nigeria.
Good People. Good Nation.
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by An0nimus: 1:41pm On Feb 02, 2010
People still read but their numbers i must admit have fallen drastically.There're so many other options to reading these days.
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by SmashingM(f): 1:48pm On Feb 02, 2010
I know what you're talking about. It's just that in those days, this home video of a thing was not this rampant. I can still remember how i use to

read african series well into the night without getting sleepy because of the interesting stories and the suspense there.

These days, it's Genevieve here, Nicole kidman there.
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by gshyne(m): 1:52pm On Feb 02, 2010
Chances are you will only find pacestters in 2nd handbook stores these days. left naija a while back so not sure if all those bend down and pick 2nd hand book sellers still abound.
@ Poster
the palmwine drunkard is a classic i love that book to bits d way d author translated our native proverbs into english is genius. You remember that sayin bout the rat and d sese beans.
Like people have rightly said its the advent of all the technology age killing off interest in books. Kids are more likely to collect cds, dvd and games that they will books i think its a sad trend though. No more talk of all them African Writers Series and youths now dont benefit from the wealth of knowledge folks like Wole Soyinka share thru their writings,
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by chase2(m): 2:07pm On Feb 02, 2010
You should find Pacesetter books at CMS, I got a couple of the 'JUMP' series there sometimes ago (not quite a year )
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by sim1050: 2:13pm On Feb 02, 2010
i think the secrete lies in making reading more fun and captivating for our kids. in todays hi-tech world of real time, instant gratification, i think this is a creative challenge for parents to engage their children.
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by otokx(m): 2:25pm On Feb 02, 2010
Even the parents themselves do not read.
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by slap1(m): 2:26pm On Feb 02, 2010
Right now I have Mario Puzo's THE LAST DON begging for my attention (and I read a lot!), but who's gonna shut down the internet to give me time for the book?
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by Czer(m): 2:39pm On Feb 02, 2010
How about our old TOM & JERRY? oy!
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by Oxone(m): 2:57pm On Feb 02, 2010
slap1:

Right now I have Mario Puzo's THE LAST DON begging for my attention (and I read a lot!), but who's gonna shut down the internet to give me time for the book?
yeah its quite hard but discipline is all u need

@op
those days were the best, does anyone remember "the unpredictable element", read abt 150 chase back then & all the ones you have mentioned. I guess now that most of the good books are now being made into movies. things will get a lot worse. anyway i still read when i can but not as much as i use to
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by 77ken: 2:59pm On Feb 02, 2010
why read the book romeo and juliet for days when you can see the movie in less than 3hrs?  like everything else this age, the faster the better, but those who don`t read don`t know what they are missing, in this case a picture is worthless than a single word.
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by Oxone(m): 3:05pm On Feb 02, 2010
77ken:

why read the book romeo and juliet for days when you can see the movie in less than 3hrs?  like everything else this age, the faster the better, but those who don`t read don`t know what they are missing, in this case a picture is worthless than a single word.

but the books are always more interesting & detailed than the movies
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by Nobody: 3:17pm On Feb 02, 2010
it's a pity. i can relate to what d poster is saying. back in the day, in my js 2 and 3 i  must have read a thousand books. the problem i think lies within every individual. even with the advent of technology, those bookworms like me still read. i read now more than ever before. the only problem i have is what to do with d books. i'm thinking of auctioning them for 100 naira each. i just finished 'me and my big mouth' by joyce meyer.
As for d poster looking for pacesetters series, my friends dad has d whole collection, proudly displayed on his shelf. well he wont give it out for anything. sorry.
BTW who has read THE MESSIAH by Boris sterling. if u haven't try and read it. u won't remain the same. also PERFECT by Judith Mcnaught is another wonderful book.
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by MsTom(f): 3:25pm On Feb 02, 2010
No one should blame the govt here. The problem is not only in nigeria, it occurs everywhere, even in the states. Most parents are so busy doing 2 or more jobs in the bid to pay their bills. Or in the case of nigeria, you spend valuable times in traffic, trying to go home. The children are left with the TV, video games or illiterate maids and cell phones to while away the time. They dont know what novels are anymore. If you mention books, they think of school. Now, depending on what school you send your child to, the child would dislike going to school cos of the influence. Now, they are raised with TVS and not parents.
When I was growing up, we had time for TV. It started at 8pm and ended at 10pm which is from the time to watch soap operas and ends immediately after the network news which we were forced to watch. And when watching the tv, at least an adult was with us. Nowadays, kids watch cartoons( most of which have adult content) without an adult present. No one to encourage them to read. Even if they do have assignements, the parents are not there to help them with it. Cos they are not there. Guess what, the kids go to school the next day and copy themselves. With this thread, tell me, what happens to the next generation who would be equiped with more sophisticated electronic gadgets and more "exciting" video games (some of which are already in 3D).
What can the government do? In most western countries, they have free education and people donate books and yet the reading culture is going down. I believe it is up to the parents to close the generation gap. They have to be involved in the childrens' reading culture.

PS: Looking to get the palmwine drinkard. Where can I get this? Pleaseeeeeeeee
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by MsTom(f): 3:33pm On Feb 02, 2010
Dont know if anyone watches law and order SVU, Ice-T character name on there is Det. Odafin "Fin" Tutuola. The character's name is taken from the book The Palm Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola, and the father's name(from the introduction) was Odafin. See how far that book went.
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by Mhismole(f): 4:17pm On Feb 02, 2010
ah books. my first love. iv read everything mentioned down here, used to read so chronically that my friends would take me to the lib to pick good books out for them because its a gud chance iv read 80% already, and i used to write essays for my seniors in art class cos i read the book 2 years back. But i came to college and i can barely find time to eat, let alone read. i think thats a factor, because i do have an ipod and all that stuff, and they are just what they are. you cant take the glory from books, they take you to another world nothing else can ever recreate lol
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by achinu(m): 4:17pm On Feb 02, 2010
I remember reading pacesetters when I was younger and loving every minute of it. I stopped reading for a couple of years myself but have picked up reading again, the media bombardment is insane plus we have just gotten lazy as people. It takes discipline to pick up a book & read, its much easier to watch tv & all the other distractions.
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by g1(m): 5:06pm On Feb 02, 2010
@ topic,
i can really relate to what you are saying!!!. Due to my introverted nature i do like to spend a lot of time alone reading, just last week, i was reading a book by Jerry Coyne - " Why Evolution is True" and one of my uncles asked me why am i wasting my time reading all these books, that how do they affect my life and will they bring money? sad sad, i told him i read for knowledge sake and there is a liberating feeling i get anytime i learn something new,, but the olodo will not listen? , he went on blabbing about how all this books na white man wahala and if a book is not telling him how to get money sharp sharp then he is not interested!!!
finally, we live in the generation of ipod, laptop, iphone,facebook, twitter, video games etc, so people rather spend time watching the E! channel than reading a book sad sad
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by Eyimba(m): 5:16pm On Feb 02, 2010
I really concore cos am that kind of person that find forfulment in the pages of books but 2 be honest that was then i mean when i was still in the labour market, unfortunatly when i got i job or should i say when i hammer, i literally forgot about books cos it doest put food on the table. Its not that i dont read but not like b4.
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by ASSUR: 5:19pm On Feb 02, 2010
It  has been replaced with surfing the net, calls and what have you. Little wonder most adults can't read fluently.Instead, they prefer talking slangs .UTTER NONSENSE!
IT'S A PITY
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by Str8talk: 5:24pm On Feb 02, 2010
@Cherechy
, i'm thinking of auctioning them for 100 naira each,

Please sell them to me. I am serious!

@ALL
No need to debate this matter for so long.
People do not have time except that the Super Eagles v Egypt thread on NL will be 12 pages or more long and this thread may have just 2 pages
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by SisiKill1: 5:27pm On Feb 02, 2010
Thanks for the heads up on where to find pacesetters.

This is a little off topic but does anyone remember a book called TIME CHANGES YESTERDAY?
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by Str8talk: 5:49pm On Feb 02, 2010
@MsTom

The Plamwine Drinkard

If you live in Lagos, go to CMS. CSS bookshop is on the ground floor of Bookshop House. Behind the building are shops selling books. Those guys actually have lookouts around the CSS bookshop. Their job is to dissuade you from buying from the "pricey" CMS bookshop. Their alway shout question: "do you want to buy books?". At the Marina Taxi park (opposite Church House) are some book stalls. You will get the book from one of these shops at CMS.

Of course, the largest concentration of bookshops is along the road between Yaba Bus Stop (beginning from TejuOsho Market) to Ojuelegba
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by Pharoh: 6:00pm On Feb 02, 2010
It is very sad but i think we should be deliberating about the solution to this predicament after all our lamentations.
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by slap1(m): 7:44pm On Feb 02, 2010
Can someone tell me what it will cost me to get Jude Dibia's book sent to me over here in Aba?
Re: What Happened To Our Reading Culture? by Krayola(m): 8:11pm On Feb 02, 2010
Children, for the most part, do what their parents teach them. undecided

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