Explanatory research into why most Nigerians do not like to read has revealed that reading has become outdated for most people in Nigeria, particularly the youth.
The research was conducted among over 20,000 people via Facebook, LinkedIn and WhatsApp by a leadership and peak performance expert, Dr. Elvis Ukpaka.
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Outcome of the research was revealed in his book titled ‘Readers are Leaders’, which has been approved and recommended for all secondary schools in Nigeria and the general public by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC).
From the responses given by respondents who participated in the research, the author deduced that based on the research, Nigeria is in dire need of help to revive the reading culture, as comments from respondents showed that reading has become outdated for most people in the country, especially the youth.
Other reasons buttressed include lack of time to read due to tight schedules; lack of interest or passion for reading and seeing reading as laborious and demanding; upbringing; entertainment; technology (games); engaging power of social media including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram etc and gross economic hardship among others.
He therefore recommended that Nigerians must see reading as a mental exercise just like bodily exercise; noting that reading is to the brain what food is to the body. With the demystification of books through making them available online as e-books; he encouraged the people, especially the youth to take advantage of going online to buy or download free books to read.
“Though in recent times, going to a bookstore either online or offline has literally become old fashioned as people shun bookstores or anything called book. So, if you are averse to reading books with lots of pages, start by reading the ones with fewer pages of less than 100. As you start getting a sense of accomplishment by finishing smaller books, you can progress to reading much bigger ones,” he said, noting that a book on the shelf adds no value or knowledge to life if it is not read.
Ukpaka in his book revealed that there are three categories of people in life where reading is concerned – those who don’t read, those who buy books but don’t read it and those who buy and read the book. The book ‘Readers and Leaders’, he said was written to help fight ignorance and ensure that readers stay knowledgeable.
In the book, readers will learn how to spark a renewed passion for reading, the importance of reading, the dangers of not reading, how to become a solution provider by knowledge, how to set up a personal development library etc.
The 177 pages book also encouraged people to set up private or personal libraries in their homes or offices, which can serve individuals, family or a group of people.