KARACHI: Scores of people from all walks of life attended the 15th International Book Fair yesterday (Sunday), as the event neared its end, scheduled to conclude today (Monday).
Attending the fair, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan reflected that the provincial and the federal government need to extend support for organising such events, adding that they may also consider providing subsidy on books so as to bring expensive books within easy reach of the students.
“Around 80% of students [in the country] belong to the middle class and should be provided free transport, particularly those studying at public schools, so that they may easily approach the book fair’s venue,” Hassan added.
Speaking about the “dying culture of book reading,” former IT minister of Sindh, Raza Haroon lamented that the new generation has lost touch with the trend of reading. Elaborating further on the implications of the dying culture, he said, “Books house knowledge and make us human.”
Martial Arts Grand Master Ashraf Tai, who also attended the fair, spoke along similar lines as Haroon. He said that one cannot acquire complete knowledge [on any subject] without reading books and developing a reading habit leads to innovative thinking.
With the five-day international book fair, which began on December 5, nearing conclusion, its organisers, Waqar Mateen and Nadeem Akhtar, sought visitors’ feedback to improve it in the coming years. Most visitors appreciated their efforts, saying that books from good publishers were available at a reasonable price at the fair. They stressed that books will continue to be of great importance, no matter in what way the society changes and said that parents should bring along their children to the fair.
As many as 330 stalls were set up at the fair, featuring books on various subjects from religion to politics.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2019.
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