A FEW days ago I called my local bookshop to send me a book. The price he quoted sounded so surreal to me. When I asked why the said book was so expensive, I was told that the price of paper had gone up and books had generally become quite costly.
However, this was not a new excuse. He had said the same thing to me a couple of years ago when I went to his shop.
Unfortunately in Pakistan we don’t have time to read. People prefer to rely on social and electronic media for their information and as a passtime. There are only a handful of people who want to read books and it is difficult for them to afford their hobby.
We must be mindful of the fact that books are not a commodity or a luxury that can be bought only by the rich but rather a need of the hour. If a person reads a book, it mean that not only that particular person reads but he or she communicates that knowledge to the others in their social circle and this way knowledge keeps travelling.
If the prices of books keep soaring this way I wonder what will happen. The government should have a proper policy in place to lower the price of books or reprint cheap copies for the masses – or at least for those people who wish to read.
Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2018