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Nurturing a Reading Culture in the Digital Age

Addressing the Reading Culture of Young People in the Digital Era

On November 11, in Hanoi, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism organized a seminar titled “Promoting and Developing Reading Culture Among Youth in the Digital Age.”

Impact of Technology on Young Readers

Bùi Xuân Đức, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City General Science Library, stated that the advancement of information technology has created barriers to the reading culture among the youth, even instilling a disinterest in reading. Nowadays, instead of flipping through pages or visiting libraries, people often resort to clicking, typing, or searching online.

Young people may spend several hours a day watching TV or browsing the web and social media, but they struggle to spend even 30 minutes reading a book. Additionally, leisure time for young people, especially in big cities, is limited due to additional studies outside of regular school hours.

The low reading rate in Vietnam, less than one book per person per year, also reflects a lack of example-setting by adults. Public libraries fail to meet the growing and diverse reading needs of the youth, with most facilities lacking adequate resources.

Both objective and subjective factors contribute to the lack of interest in reading and library participation among young people.

Reading in the Generation Z Era

Prof. Dr. Trần Thành Nam from the Hanoi National University of Education mentioned that Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2006) tends to multitask and prefer speed, leading to a culture of skim reading and a decline in reflective reading. This generation doesn’t engage in reading as a form of entertainment or for creative thinking as much as previous generations did. They often read under pressure for work or academic purposes.

Nam emphasized that Gen Z, as digital natives, have access to unlimited information and technology, influencing their reading habits and preferences. Their attention span is shorter, and they lean towards visually appealing content over text or audio, personalized to their interests. Understanding these traits is crucial for fostering reading habits and culture among them.

A New Approach to Encourage Reading

Lê Thanh Hà, Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Thanh Niên Publishing House, suggested adopting new approaches to reading culture. These approaches should go beyond the traditional concept of reading, adapting to the needs of young readers to develop their capabilities and enrich their souls.

In conclusion, despite significant efforts, current strategies often use outdated methods to promote a relatively new culture. Prioritizing policies, mechanisms, and technological applications to align with young readers’ interests is essential. This will open new opportunities for the publishing industry and provide diverse content in science, literature, economics, and technology through various media and platforms.

(Adapted from Đại Đoàn Kết Newspaper)

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