By Yasmin Yahya
“I love reading,” said one of the customers in Kinokuniya book store located at level four, Suria KLCC. It shows that Malaysians do like reading books.
We usually hear that Malaysians hardly spend time reading. Look around; you hardly see Malaysians reading while they wait for the bus, taxi, train or plane. If you find one, he or she is probably reading because there’s examination coming up.
People nowadays seem to take for granted just how important it is to read or being able to read. I thought it is not difficult to find an illiterate these days; many people do not find reading as a main activity during family nights, treating it as hobby or simply for recreational purposes.
Due to the vast growth of technology, doing an activity such as reading a book might be assumed as something boring or old-fashioned. When in fact, since today it is so easy to get anything with just a click of a button, they have easier access to a book and therefore, more likely than just to scroll for information with their hands.
When I was in the LRT train on my way to KLCC to spend my day during the mid-semester break, I asked a passenger in the train about reading in public places, and he said, “Why read when you can just stare into space or play with your gadget in hands,” said Ahmad Kamal Jaaffar.
So, imagine my surprise when I arrived at the Kinokuniya book store and found out that the book store was filled with many people even during working days. I can tell that the customers came from different ages and races; kids, teenagers, adults, senior citizens, Malays, Chinese and Indians. Mostly the customers comprised of students, lecturers and people who love seeking for knowledge as I saw many people hovering around ‘Local Interest’ section.
Recently, most university and college students received their Baucar Buku 1Malaysia (1Malaysia book voucher) worth RM250 each. So, it is common and normal that the book store is filled with a number of people, especially students, who want to buy their favourite or academic books there.
I approached a student from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Nur Zulaikha Jamaluddin, who was sitting with her sister on the chair while reading a couple of books. She mentioned that she frequently visits Kinokuniya in a month.
“The thing I like about this book shop is that we can sit around here, accompanied with soft music and read the books comfortably for any length of hour we like,” she said.
It is true, Kinokuniya has provided comfortable seats where people can sit and read books that are available for reading without paying. Usually the books are unwrapped so that people can read without having to purchase them.
“It’s fun! Kinokuniya has varieties of books available to choose from. I often shop for books here since it has so many books,” she added.
It is also a fact that Kinokuniya has been selling books from different kinds of genre and categories such as Education, English Fiction, Literature, Language, Health and Wellbeing, Political and History, Hobbies, Arts, Science, Self-Enrichment, Religion, Sport and Travel. Therefore, people can find many choices of their favourite books at the book store.
We must acknowledge that reading habit is an essential life skill. Reading not only increases our knowledge, but also builds our character and maturity, sharpens our thinking, and widens our awareness on issues surrounding us.
With knowledge, we are able to conquer the world. There is no limit to what we can achieve as long as we have knowledge in our hands.
In addition, with reading, we have a wide selection of words in our vocabularies allowing us to use all kinds of different words in all kinds of context in speeches and writings.
In simple words, reading takes a great effort. It is hard work, no doubt. The effort to build reading habit in ourselves pays off and it’s worth it in our lives, either directly or indirectly.
Therefore, boys and girls, it brings us to the conclusion that reading is an essential part of our lives. It is important that we know just how big a role it plays in our growth, both as a person and as a human being.***