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22 Nov 2019

Reading Fondness, Skill That Must Be Practiced Since Early Age

Semarang, Central Java - Reading is an ability that must be practiced from an early age. This can be done by practicing the habit of reading books every day. Indonesian Reading Ambassador, Najwa Shihab, said that reading is not just the ability to spell but to get the meaning of the reading material. Even reading therapy is said able to cure the soul.

"You think that if you can spell, you can automatically be able to read and like to read. Whereas the ability to compose letters is different, it is very far away from the skill we have to get the meaning from the reading material. That is what we often see, our children if they are tested at the international level, children aged 6-7 years old when tested for reading ability, can relatively compete with children from other countries. Because what tested is only the ability to read and spell. But when tested a few years later, it is always below average and standard, because the one tested is the ability to understand the reading material. And this is what sometimes we are lacking," explained Najwa Shihab in a Reading Fondness Talkshow with Indonesian Reading Ambassador, Najwa Shihab at Wisma Perdamaian Rumah Rakyat, Semarang, Central Java, on Friday (11/22/2019).

Najwa explained the research in the United States showed a variety benefits of reading, namely making sleep more soundly, not easily to senile, and making longevity. "In Ancient Greece, in front of the ancient library was written, "Healing Place for the Soul". What does it mean? Library becomes a place to heal the soul. Even soldiers in the US, when they returned from World War, and they were stressed out because of the war, do you know what was the prescription given by the psychiatrist? Bibliography, read a book. Stressed people are advised to read books to heal the soul," said the founder of Narasi TV.

Meanwhile, Deputy of Library Resources Development Field at National Library, Woro Titi Haryanti, agreed that through reading, everyone can achieve what they want. And this can be done by utilizing the library. Today, library is transforming into a place to share knowledge and skills.

"Example of Modern Reading House (in Central Java) that library is not only a place to provide books for public, but library is present for ladies and gentlemen. Because we want to make changes to ourselves and public. By reading we can achieve what we want. And our programs are all for the public and give benefits to everyone. This is what we expect from Pak Jokowi's message, we are present in public," explained Deputy Woro Titi.

Deputy Woro Titi also appreciated the policy of the Central Java provincial government which supports library and literacy. At present, as many as 208 village libraries in Central Java have replicated the social inclusion-based library transformation program. "We give our appreciation to our friends in Central Java who are so keen to develop libraries in villages, with this year we provide this program to nine regencies in Central Java with four villages each that get the program," she said.

Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo encouraged students to fond of reading. Because children who love to read will be wiser in assessing information. All participants were asked to routinely read every day both in the library and through electronic media. "Because lack of reading means lack of literacy and often get angry. As a result, we become vulnerable. Children who read a lot, discuss a lot, and understand, are like being immunized. In any situation, they will calm down. They will be able to choose, sort out, judge whether this is right or wrong in any situation," he concluded.

In the talkshow, Governor Ganjar gave five copies of his book titled "Jembatan Perubahan" to the participants. The talkshow, which was held by the National Library of Indonesia and the Service Office of Archives and Library of the Central Java Province, was attended by 500 people consisting of students, college students, and representatives of the Central Java Regional Leaders Communication Forum (Forkompinda).

Reporter: Hanna Meinita and Agus Djoko

Photographer: Wara Merdekawati

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