Reading - the lost art?

They say if you want to hide some truths from ordinary people, then you should write it in books. That is because there is a belief that many people don't read; and many who do read don't understand.
Often when I am running a training program or interviewing candidates, I ask them to share on the last book they read. That is books other than religious related material or professional themes.

Surprisingly, the majority do not read. Reasons include - you guessed it ...
No time or Don't like reading. Yet discussing further, they are very current on their preferred sport, local movies, music or dance!
How do we get exposure, develop and expand our knowledge and awareness?

We can't add because we now have calculators!
We can't spell because we have spell check!
We can't write because we use a computer to type!
We can't read because ......??
Vocabulary has been limited by "text " speak and social media. Our vocabulary may have expanded with thousands of new 3 or 4 lettered words. This vocabulary may however do little to support ones' understanding or enjoyment of literature, history, biographies etc.
When I say read, I don't mean can you recognise the words on the page. I mean can you understand the sense of what is expressed. The written and unwritten nuances?

Schools have taught children how to cram and recite. Their ability to report or share in their own words or give their own interpretation is now not an instinctively natural option. One of the key triggers is an active and critical thinking mind.
I watched a clip of Lisa Bu on TED speaking about how books can open your mind and how reading had completely transformed her world. Reading opened up a world of languages, cultures, countries, experiences. It stimulated the mind to a wider range of possibilities than one could imagine.
Do we have enough libraries?Are book clubs useful? Do we need more competitions of the Spelling Bee variety for schools? Do audio books help?
Is technology the answer? Tablets can contain many books and allow individuals to read anywhere.
Indeed there are only 24 hours in a day, so you do have to make choices about how you spend the time. On Facebook, twitter, watching movies, on the phone, studying, working or exposing yourself to a much wider world by reading!
What am I reading now.. "Steve Jobs " by Walter Isaacson and "You Must Set Forth at Dawn" by Wole Soyinka. What are you reading?

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