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Fri, 22 Apr 2022 Feature Article

Commemorating World Book and Copyright Day: Reading Develops the Mind for Growth of a Nation

Commemorating World Book and Copyright Day: Reading Develops the Mind for Growth of a Nation
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Building a culture of reading is fundamental to the success and growth of every society. Society and nations thrive on knowledge – financial, sociological, technological, psychological, religious and cultural – which is largely stored in books. Since books have always been the depository of knowledge, any tool that gives one the power or capacity to access their contents is to be much appreciated. Consequently, as the World celebrates the World Book and Copyright Day, which falls on April 23 of every year, it is important that we reiterate how reading and books have played immeasurable role in the building of nations and societies.

Reading is a reliable tool that gives everyone - the rich, the poor, the weak, the strong, children, teenagers and the adult - unfettered access to the nuggets of gold stored in books. For this reason, anyone with the ability to read can delve into the belly of books to benefit from the rich and unquantifiable knowledge that books provide. Reading also gives a society access to facts and innovative ideas about life needed to fulfil the aspirations of every society. Not only that but also the love of reading has the ability to develop and hone the creative ability of individuals. This ensures a successful academic pursuits and acquisition of relevant skills needed for national development.

Books all over the world carry the experiences and history of society, and they serve as a guide for people to chat the right path. Readers build a better character by learning from the negative experiences of characters in books who took wrong decisions which led to their downfall. Positive experiences that teach the importance of honesty, loyalty, hard work, endurance, patience, resilience and patriotism are also reinforced.

In the same vein, when a child is put on the right path toward building a lifelong love of reading, that child is given one of the best investments to build the right character to function effectively in the society. This is because, right from the childhood stage, a child gets access to myriad of experiences as a result of reading a variety of books. The childhood stage is when habits are easily formed and habits that are desirable and worthy for nation building are reinforced.

Reading also gives one the capacity to acquire specific knowledge needed to enhance one’s personal growth and development. Today, with technological advancement, it has become easy for one to sit in the house and acquire knowledge in investment, insurance policies, computing, and anything that one needs to improve him or herself to function effectively in the society. Any society with the less endowed persons, such as school drop-outs, ‘Kayayes’, street children etc. can improve their lots by taking steps to ensure that its people are given the opportunity to learn how to read. Helping society to develop a culture of reading is akin to teaching the child how to fish. When a child acquires a skill in reading, that child can use the skill to acquire specific knowledge, facts and innovative ideas to enhance his or her personal growth and development in the future.

For individuals and society to withstand the storms and hurdles of life, they require confidence in their ability to do so. The ability to read gives one confidence. This confidence is borne out of the knowledge one acquires, as well as a person’s ability to read and write to express his or her thought to solve problems during challenging and critical situations. The COVID-19 pandemic required the use of science and data for the prevention and treatment of the disease. That required, to large extent, one’s ability to read extensively to acquire knowledge that would help one to appreciate how the disease is contracted, prevented from spreading and the effect mitigated to save lives.

On the back of the benefit of reading, as indicated above, on Monday, April 25, 2022, the Ghana Book Development Council, in collaboration with the Ghana Publishers Association, the Ghana Association of Writers, the UNESCO Ghana, the Copyright Ghana, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and other stakeholders in the book industry would commemorate the World Book and Copyright Day, under the theme, “Reading to Develop Minds”, to drum home the importance of reading to national development. The event which takes place at Omanyeaba Hall, Accra Metropolitan Assembly Head Office, will also be used to publicise Accra World Book Capital 2023 title.

The World Book and Copyright Day is an important day celebrated by member states of the United Nations (UN). Among other reasons, the event is organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on the 23rd of April, every year, to promote reading, publishing and copyright. All over the world, books and reading are celebrated; and reading and its related activities are undertaken on the day by member states to celebrate the importance of books and reading.

By

Daniel Ofosu-Asamoah

Literacy Promotion Manager

Ghana Book Development Council

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