What will happen if u put Malaysians in a room crammed with mountain of books for a year? The answer is the recent statistic reported by a local newspaper that showed Malaysians approximately read TWO books in a year. That’s an incredible record. It’s indeed hard to accomplish!

I was petrified as I lay my eyes on that. I frown coz I can’t see the bona fide of this statistic. It’s not that I disagree or oppose but I found the result is very hard to deem. Of course, the truth is always hard to swallow but this is a far cry from what I believe in. It’s true that Malaysians are not a very keen readers, we lack that attitude-we always are-but two books in a year! Come on, even if it’s a lie, that’s tough to consume either.

I myself am not an ardent reader because I’m quite persnickety and fastidious in choosing books. I prefer to read non-fiction that is thought provoking and could leave me in awe after reading it. Besides, I have a very short attention span as I need to devote myself zealously to complete reading a book. Some minor disturbance would divert my attention swiftly. If I were to read a fiction, I have to go a chapter by chapter and I need to pause between each chapter to imagine the scene, to devour the whole prose. I fancy books that mirror me, that the story and the character resemble mine.

Back to the statistic, it somehow impinges on me and I know my close-knit friends-Moja, Chip, Liyana who always read-agree with me. This is because, our reading attitude is nurturing feverishly day by day. There are abundant of bookstores in Malaysia and an eclectic list of books to choose from. However, there are still problems that lead to this result. The books are sometimes unaffordable. It is exorbitant and this would pilot to act of unhealthy action to get the books (Moja, ring a bell?) and it’s all because of the price. Perhaps the government should consider allocating some subsidy for books or perhaps some kind of discount for students.

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