Reading culture lacking


A SENIOR academic is concerned about the lack of interest among Papua New Guineans in developing a reading culture.
University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) Prof Steven Winduo raised his concern during the 2019 Annual Book Fair at the National Library in Waigani, Port Moresby, on Thursday.
“The biggest problem in the country is that we haven’t developed the culture of reading, which needs some serious looking into,” he said.
“I teach at UPNG and my students don’t write good English.
“I see them sitting and telling stories all day but when it comes to writing, they are very poor.
“You cannot be a good writer if you cannot read; you have to complement your writing with reading.
“A lot of young people today are sitting on their mobile phones, are they reading?
As an author himself, Winduo shared his frustrations and concerns about writing books.
“We can write and publish our books but who is going to read our books?” he said.
“Are these young people going to read our books?
“Reading has never been in existence here and it’s really frustrating to write so many books and no one comes to read them.
“Don’t just read just for the sake of reading, read with an active mind by learning from what you read.”
The book fair began last Monday and ended on Saturday with a good turnout which included students, academics, authors and government officials.
Meanwhile, University of Goroka librarian Raphael Togagur said literature reviews were important in published books authored by Papua new Guineans.
Topagur said a book would sell well if people were properly informed of the book’s content.
“One thing that affects the sales of a book published by Papua New Guineans is because the book does not go through an assembly of testing before it reaches the store shelfs,” he said.
“To attract people to buy a book, you must give them a preview of what they can expect from the book they will buy.” Togagur said the literature review marketed the book.
He suggested that local authors and publishers form a writers association that would encompass specialists like literature reviewers, proof readers, editors and typists.
He said a writers association would have a positive impact.