Catap-Lacson: Welcome to Pampanga, Big Bad Wolf!


AT LONG last! Kapampangans are indeed lucky to witness and experience the phenomenal book sale that all bookworms look forward to — the Big Bad Wolf (BBW) Book Sale on July 12 to 22 at the Laus Group Event Center.

This event is made possible through the advocacy of the event organizers to help the communities in need, and the support of the Gawad Kalinga Foundation.

According to the organizers, the book fair will not only be bringing millions of books and huge discounts; it will also be selling newer titles, majority of which are in the young adult fiction. Their wide selections of romance, science fiction, crime thriller, business, self-help, architecture, design, cooking, and children’s books will be up for sale for 24 hours.

The BBW is a powerful way on how to sustain, and even bring back the love for reading. It cannot be denied that nowadays, children as young as 2 years old are already exposed to iPads and other digital gadgets that may cause harmful effects to their cognitive and even moral development.

It is an inevitable scenario for most parents, but making some precautionary measures will be a good thing to consider. For example, the number of hours that a child may be allowed to use these gadgets should be controlled, and even the applications and games should also be monitored by the parents. As early as possible, we should be able to instill reading in children and it should always be considered an indispensable undertaking that each of us must always engage ourselves in, as it is the fundamental skill or competency that makes all other proficiencies possible.

In my own personal observation, the pressing concern that each and every one of us must look into is the emergence of the technologies that affect our reading habit, such as the advent of tablets, phones, and other multi-app gadgets. These gadgets have numerous applications from games to photo and video apps since software developers have made it a point to provide practically everything that we take interest in, including books, magazines, and other reading materials consumed in their digital forms.

This so-called “digitalization” has caused immense disadvantages to the printing industry as a number of people have switched to the digital versions of almost all printed materials. Now we’re talking of e-books and Kindle app which make digital reading highly possible nowadays.

A paperless society is one of the highest goals that Microsoft founder Bill Gates aims to accomplish before he dies. During a speaking engagement at the Royal Spanish Academy almost a decade ago, Gates explains his goal of “putting an end to paper and then to books.” Following his judgment that books are “anachronistic objects”, Gates firmly believes that “computer screens are able to replace paper in all the functions that paper has heretofore assumed.”

Gates further enumerated the advantages of using computers in place of books and paper — first, it is a less onerous duty to bring several books at once and the space that books may occupy may be done away with since storing the digital copies in an iPad or a tablet is very convenient. Second, the electronic transmission of news and literature will have ecological advantages by saving more trees and thus alleviate the destruction of forests. Gates’ end in sight is seeing people continuing to read, but this time, reading on computer screens.

The above modernistic reading approach may seem very convenient for most of us. We cannot however disregard the disadvantages that go along with this. For one, prolonged reading using a computer or a gadget has bad effects in our health especially in our eyes. Another is the limitation of electrical gadgets, especially when there is a power interruption or when your laptop goes out of charge.

I believe that achieving a perfect balance between reading books and digital reading is the way to go. Reading books should be a de rigueur interest at the early years of childhood, and once nurtured until the older years, then the convenience of digital reading may be enjoyed as a luxury that reading grown-ups can be entitled to. As the saying goes, we always have to learn the basics first.


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