World Books Day Feast: Try to Bring out People’s Reading Interest

Iris YE

Can reading be an interesting thing? It’s maybe hard for someone. But the 2015 World Book Day Feast which held at St. Francis of Assisi’s Caritas School’s playground, April 25 was trying to achieve that.

The Feast was co-organized by the Standing Committee on Language Education & Research and the Education Bureau, which attracted more than one thousand teenagers and parents. Students had 19 choices to experience interesting reading-related activities, including “Connect to Reading, Reading to Connect — Celebrating Efforts in Enhancing Home Literacy Environment”, “Putonghua Drama Performance”, “Sherlock Holmes: Flashmob Theatre” and so on.

The World Book Day it’s a celebration of books and reading since 1995, April 23. It has different themes every year. This year’s theme was “Towards a Reading City”, and Secretary for Education Eddie Ng gave a speech at the ceremony to emphasize the importance of reading in our daily lives.

“Reading is the best way to improve ourselves, while parents reading habits can easily influence their children”, said Eddie. And he encouraged people to pay more time on reading.

However, according to a newest research from Roundtable Institute, an independent research organization, Hong Kong people’s reading index has declined from 5.1(the full mark is 10) to 4.75 from 2013 to 2014. And they only pay 1.3 hours per week for reading, while last year is 2 hours. They said there are something more fun or important than read a book.

“These activities try to make us find funs in reading, however I have little time and willing to do that”, said Mrs. Lin, a 9-years-old student’s mother and participated in “Connect to Reading, Reading to Connect” with her daughter.

As a saleswoman, Mrs. Lin pays a lot of energy on her work. She thinks that reading is a serious thing, and she doesn’t want to do this after her tired work. However she hopes her daughter can read more, of course, “useful” books.

“Actually, I haven’t bought any books except my daughter’s textbooks in these years. Because I think they are useless for her”, said Mrs. Lin.

The depression of reading interests makes Guan Yongjin, a researcher from Public Policy Research Institute of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University worried, because that can be harmful to the book business and the development of society.

“It is not a single case in Hong Kong”, said Mr. Guan. “People are reading less, and just focus on the practicality of the book. That’s a problem we should notice and solve.”

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