Date:09/07/2007 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2007/07/09/stories/2007070957100400.htm
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Karnataka - Bangalore

‘Create awareness on importance of reading books’

Staff Reporter

— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Wide range: The new branch of Sapna Book Stores at Indiranagar in Bangalore that was opened on Sunday.

BANGALORE: Noted Kannada poet Nisar Ahmed has urged the State Government to take proactive steps to create public awareness about the importance of reading books and the impact it has on one’s life.

At the inauguration of a new outlet of Sapna Book Store at Indiranagar here on Sunday, Mr. Ahmed said that despite newer modes of entertainment that kept emerging, people still preferred reading books. Reading books, he said, was a good way to picture real life. “Books not only soothes you, but also enlighten you,” the poet said.

Mr. Ahmed said it was a good time for Kannada authors as more malls were coming forward to display their books. He recalled how the writer the late G.P. Rajarathnam struggled to sell Kannada books in the two stalls at Balepet in the city in 1955. “He was walking barefoot to the shops — Krishna Shetty and Sons and Geeta Agency, carrying the books of various authors,” he recalled

On the poor sales of Kannada books, Home Minister M.P. Prakash said those being sold were the ones that generated publicity with controversial material. “You find such books in the hands of readers who are curious to know more about the controversies. You know the names of some of these books,” Mr. Prakash said. He expressed concern over people’s attitude of embracing English and neglecting their native language. Mr. Prakash said there was nothing wrong in following English that helped in providing economic stability. But “knowing your mother tongue will help in giving a feel of native culture and improves creativity,” Mr. Prakash said.

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