Dinas Kearsipan dan Perpustakaan Prov. Kep. Bangka Belitung

National Children Book Day





On May 17th was commemorated as the National Children's Book Day. Talking about books, it was closely related to children reading interest. In Indonesia, children reading interest still need to be more concerning. Data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) in 2013 says that only 20 percent people do reading while nearly 80 percent of people prefer to watch TV (television) and listen to the radio in Indonesia. It was very contrast with some other developed countries in the world such as the United States of America. Each school must read 30 books in America while in Indonesia zero percent.  In 2012, UNESCO noted that Indonesia index reading interest just reached 0.0001. It means that every 1,000 Indonesian, only one people who has reading interest.


Yayasan Kesejahteraan Anak Indonesia 2004 noted that the average time of Primary school children in Indonesia who are spending to watch television could reach 30 to 35 hours per week and 4 to 5 hours a day. They are preferred spending much time to watch television than reading some books or do other activity, except for sleep.


The lack of reading interest was effect on the low writing ability too. On the other hand, the publication books in Indonesia were still needed. In the academic circles of Indonesia such as teachers and lecturers who are expected to be pioneers of writing are still scarce. According to Widaryanto, quoted by Suroso (2004), only one-eight percent (0.125%) of 1.850.000 lecturers from 45 universities and 1400 private universities had written articles in newspapers, journals and books. In fact, in Islam, the first revelation to come down is the command to read. Recite by (naming) the name of your Lord Who created, He created man from a clot of blood. "(Surat al-Alaq: 1-5).


The reading command was followed by a command to perform literacy 'allama bil qalam (taught by kalam mediation or read write). This Islamic teaching is perfect. The read command continues with the command to write. Reading activity without being scratched by writing is not perfect. Therefore, knowledge obtained by reading will be more lasting when tied with writing. The command of reading and writing that the Messenger of Allah found many centuries ago is still very relevant today. Reading and writing skills are constantly needed.


According to Richard Vacca, in the 21st century, reading and writing skills are increasingly needed from previous centuries. Students need the ability to read and write in all walks of life starting from personal affairs, households, to public-service jobs such as workers and citizens. Recent research in the United Kingdom found that the ability to read well became a single indicator of future economic success-regardless of family background (British Broadcasting Corporation, News 2002).


 There are several factors could affect and hamper publics in enjoying books as a source of information. First, the system of learning in Indonesia did not forced students to read more additional books than their lesson books.  Second, the abundance of TV entertainment, indoors or outdoors games. Third, number of entertainment places such as recreational parks and supermarket which make children or adults more staying away from books.


Fourth, children didn’t get used with reading some books since an early age. Normally, a person who has less interested in reading, never get closer with books since an early age. This can be proven by telling bed-stories before bed to their children. Usually, mother only applied verbally and not accustomed to achieve knowledge through reading.


Fifth, there was minimal time to read as mothers who are busy with their house works, busy with their activities in the office and look for additional income for their family. 


Here are some tips to grow reading interest in children:

- Read the book as early as possible

Read the book by stroking the tummy since the children are in the womb. Keep on reading a storybook or fairy tale books which has interesting pictures even though they are not understand yet.

- Take the children to the library or the bookstore

Make the library or bookstore as a place to hang out or as a tour destination on weekends. Usually, the bookstore provides some children's play spots such as a place for drawing or coloring. Make an impression on the child that the bookstore becomes a comfortable and fun place to visit and learn. Besides, we can take them also to the book exhibitions and letting them choosing their desired book.

- Arrange special budget to buy books

Set aside some money to buy books every month. Buy only the book they are interested in and never forced to buy their unlike books.- Create a library at home

Create a special space for a library at home. Complete it with good furniture and lightning, accessible, neat and bookshelves that are easy to reach by children.


Stimulate them that book is fun

Borrow the term of Hernowo in his book "If the book is a Piece of Pizza", change the way of reading if the children didn’t interest in by adding interested vocabularies, sentences and make the stories dramatic by using body movements, expressions and intonation. Read the book from the most interested section and take it little by little just like we eat bread or pizza. 

- Give a gift/rewards

Give children awards, reward or small gift, if they had finish reading a book or had to do good things. 

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