The reading culture is dying. You must have heard these words a million times and you’re now bored hearing it.

It simply highlights the fact that the problem is still with us and does not seem ready to go away soon.

The easiest entities to blame, just as they do across the world are television, movie stars and the internet.

But really, is that all there is to it?

Mr Gboyega Ojuolape is a writer and author of the book ‘Inspiration Musings’ and he agrees that TV, movies and the internet have little to offer intellectually.

But the problem is not just about those alternatives; it is deeper than that in Nigeria and he explained this to Bounce News.

1. The economy is harsh

Nigerians are stressed! There is no better way to put it.

“And for the ones who don’t even work, they are not in the right frame of mind,” he said.

Add to that, the fact that after struggling all day, most people are only able to read at night but again, there is no electricity.

But should these economic challenges be an excuse?

There are self-help books about career and business that can make the hustle more productive.

You just need to find them.

'Must You Take Your Children To The Cinema?' – Author

2. Public transport is horrible

One of the best times to get the best from a book is when you’re on a long journey, but how easy is it to do that in Nigeria?

“Having traveled abroad many times, when I get on the train on a journey of one hour, you see these people reading and using that to buy time.

“Get on the plane or get on the bus, you see them reading. Can you read in a danfo or in a locomotive train from Agege to Iyana-Ipaja?

“That is the issue,” he said.

3. There are no serene parks

Also, developed countries have over the years imbibed the culture of building serene parks in their neighbourhoods.

They also come with safety measures to ensure that you concentrate on your reading.

“You’re not scared that somebody will come and snatch your bag or your phone. So, you sit in a park and you’re reading.”

Except in few gated high-class housing estates, you don’t want to try that in Naija.

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4. Where are the functional libraries?

Please underline the word functional. This is not just about building houses with shelves.

Asides libraries run by foreign embassies like the US Consulate, British Council and the French Cultural Centre, do we have public libraries with useful books?

Ojuolape said: “I went to the National Library, I was shocked. It was completely in a dilapidated state.”

If the government cannot run a library, which is supposed to be one of the cheapest ventures to invest in, then we know this is going to be a long journey.

5. Nobody is promoting books and authors

We already know that education gets less attention in a country where millions of naira is spent on entertainment and sports.

Should we be surprised that the world of literature is suffering too?

Mr Ojuolape mentioned this point based on his experience as an author

“After I wrote my own book, I found out that a lot of authors are going through a lot because there is no system in place to actually promote books in Nigeria.

“So, I decided to create a platform not just to help myself but also to help others.”

He is the organizer of the annual Abuja Book Fair sponsored mainly by him and some business associates.

Where is government? Where are the big brands?

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