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Books stimulate the imagination and drive development. - NSTP file pic

LETTERS: Malaysians, Kuala Lumpur residents in particular, should be proud that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has named Kuala Lumpur as World Book Capital 2020.

Unesco said the city was selected because of the focus on inclusive education, development of a knowledge-based society and accessible reading for all segments of the city’s population.

Credit should go to City Hall for its commitment to encourage reading. As we gear ourselves to celebrate the recognition, commencing with World Book and Copyright Day on April 23, parents should inculcate a reading culture in the young as they are the nation’s future leaders.

Books are the guardians of the past, stimulate our imagination and drive development.

They are a man’s best companion. Former United States president Abraham Lincoln said: “All I have learnt, I learnt from books.”

The more one reads, the more the mind gets stimulated.

Research reveals that intellectual pursuits like reading and regularly seeking new information keep the brain active and prevent dementia.

Works of William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Oliver Goldsmith transport readers to a realm of pleasure and joy that no other form of entertainment can provide.

Reading is like scuba diving — the deeper one delves, the greater the adventure and thrill.

Children must be reminded that benefits accrued from reading books, newspapers, magazines and periodicals are greater than reading posts on social media.

Reading is the path to knowledge and wisdom. We must derive benefit from it.

Otherwise, as the Panchatantra says: “The man who studies every book and understands, yet does not look to his advantage, learns in vain. His books are merely mental strain.”

S. SUNDARESON

Petaling Jaya, Selangor


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times.

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