Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Bookworm Wannabe

“Please take a book and read, Son! The exam’s just around the corner!”

                                Figure: Reading Fever

This was typical in my life. Maybe some of you got the identical experience like mine. I used to be reminded this way. A little boy like me who’s so idle didn’t see anything inspiring on a book. Texts just made me dizzy!

Textbooks are normally distributed a month early to all students so it’s hoped they will spend the one-month school holidays at the end of year reading the textbooks – an early preparation for them. Cool! Credit to Skim Pinjaman Buku Teks Sekolah (SPBT).

During my school days, books never attracted me a lot to pick them and read. No interest at all. Upon writing an essay with the title, ‘The Advantages of Reading’ (atau seumpama dengannya), I’m pretty sure that most students do realize the significance of reading. In other words, everybody knows that. The question is, why do we have to dislike reading, then?

People prefer entertainment to reading...or what do you think? Let’s take me as an example. If I were to be given 2 choices either to read a novel entitled ‘Nur Kasih’ or to watch the movie ‘Nur Kasih’ in cinema, I’d definitely choose to watch the movie.

WHEN I've fallen in love with books, this is what’s happened...

                        Figure: Pretending like a professor... hehe

Things changed! I’ve realized that I’ve got a fantastic pastime which is highly recommended by the government of Malaysia…... R-E-A-D-I-N-G! Of course, everyone knows that reading helps them gain much knowledge (tak payah la nak nafikan)

I love reading! I read when I feel bored. So, now I'd love to classify it as a hobby. In the past, I didn’t have the guts to declare that reading’s my hobby. I was thinking that I was merely a bookworm wannabe after all. I read to show off – that’s what I was thinking. Truly negative!


Later on, I try to think positive. I ignore the feeling of showing off. I read short stories and synopses of a number of English novels. It doesn’t matter in what language they’re written, so long as the language is Bahasa or English. The most important thing is knowledge and comprehensive understanding. I do read for comprehension.

Believe it or not, I ever wept for reading a short story and yeah I mean it! It’s a good thing when a reader appreciates of what he’s reading.

Whatsoever, one must keep in mind that…

Bangsa Membaca, Bangsa Berjaya”

Did you ever notice this slogan somewhere? Tell me where it is…. and I’ll give you 10 marks for free. Hehe.

Lambatnya! Let me tell you. It’s a popular slogan of a reading campaign currently organized by the National Library of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. There’s a commercial break too where this slogan is usually shown.

“THANK YOU SO MUCH to the National Library for your good job!”

It’s a very meaningful slogan, indeed. It’s up to us Malaysians how to interpret it. Good or bad. I leave it to you to do the evaluation.

I can still remember my lecturer at Uni told us a story in relation to one occasion where he heard his neighbours (an aged couple) arguing the content of a book she was reading. What captured my eyes concerning the occasion were the CULTURE and READING HABIT of the society. I’m quite certain that they’re aware of the necessity of reading.

One question comes into my mind,

“Does our culture have this kinda characteristic?”

It’s a bonus question which many people have already known the answer. Anyhow, I'm not saying to underestimate our culture but that is the truth. What we’re supposed to do is change our attitude toward reading.

“Let’s make reading a lifestyle, shall we?” 

“Why not?”

Have you ever heard that a book is the best companion of ours?

Yup, it surely is. Nobody dares to deny this fact! FACT?! Yeah, it sure is. Don’t tell me you don’t know that a book won’t ever let you down. A book constantly helps you be a more knowledgeable person. It makes you a very successful nation on this planet.

In the Islamic perspective, the emphasis of acquiring knowledge is clearly stated in Surah Al-alaq in the holy Qur'an.   

Do you remember the lyric of the song ‘Membaca Gaya Wawasan’? It was sung by well-known Malaysian artists like Siti Nurhaliza, Fazley, Sarimah Ibrahim, Afdlin Shauqi, Dayang Nurfaizah and many more. One of the lyric stanza sounds like this:

To gain knowledge, everyone has to read,
Let’s stretch out, open up your mind, 
Everybody gets a book and reads,
Let’s make reading, a lifestyle of wawasan.

  Lagu: Membaca Gaya Wawasan

It’s obvious that the government have done a good job in order to promote the reading culture in the country and they want Malaysians to become a hardcore reader if we really aspire to be a successful nation and go much farther.

“Membaca Jambatan Ilmu” 
a popular tagline in Malaysia


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