Free textbooks make students book shy, say publishers
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Jan 4: “With government schemes covering free delivery of textbooks to schools, students have gradually lost their quest for books. They’re shying away from reading books although books are published in adequate numbers,” said senior publisher Giripada Dev Choudhury at an interaction at 30th Guwahati Book Fair.
Speaking to the gathering, Choudhury said that the government has no scheme under which books can be bought from publishers. “Publishing of books has not been declared an industry as yet. The publishers are deprived of such a privilege by the government,” he said.
“The spurt in technology and social media is another factor that is responsible for new generation to shy away from books. Most of the good books by noted authors are available online. The young people often indulge themselves into browsing the Net up to 18 hours a day. They can choose according to their likes,” said noted educationist Dr. Dayand Pathak.
“99 per cent of the publishers depend upon sale of books,” Publisher bin Baruah said.
Publication Board, Assam Chairman Sumanta Chaliha assured the publishers of looking after their grievances by the government. Chaliha also maintained that a survey should be done to know the effect of book fairs upon readers.
“I do feel we don’t have a reading habit. The ones which are commercially successful like that of Chetan Bhagat can be read in one go but novels and jourls written by the great authors require patience and a reading habit. My friends aren’t even patient enough to read newspaper. The word limit in so far as reading is concerned has decreased to as much as 200 words or less,” Anirban Saikia, studying in 11 standard said.