Here's something that made me stop and think;الكتاب العربي.. متى تنتهي أزماته؟
أسباب أزمة الكتاب العربي-17% من إنتاج الكتاب بالعالم العربي وفق تقرير التنمية البشرية ينحصر في الكتب الدينية والتراثية وهي كتب في الغالب لا تحتاج لأي مجهود فكر"The reasons of the demise of the 'Arab Book'- 17% of the books produced in the Arab world fall under the category of religious or cultural genres that don't require any mental effort from the reader."
The number of books published in Arabic is already very small. The solution is NOT to criticize those who are publishing!! but to convince more people to publish and read. We arabs LOVE to pick up fights with each other and point fingers. Instead of working on those who DO NOT read, we seem to focus on criticizing those who do.
Every civilization has its share of leisure-reading. We Arabs love religious easy-readings. Americans in general love Romantic Novels (similar to Riwayat Abier in Arabic), which are much simpler and naive and empty compared to our leisure-time religious books. Many Americans are hooked on comics (e.g. Superman). And a good portion of middle-states love Bible-related books & hymns.
There's nothing wrong in finding amusement in reading. At least people become fast readers, which helps when reading more serious books. Much better than playing Trix and smoking Arguilah all night long (in my humble opinion).
My suggestion is to really think about the main questions:
1- How come Arabs do not find reading books useful?
2- How come people who read books usually end up with close-to-minimum-salary jobs!?
3- Is it strange that, if books are unuseful, people tend to read them less?
4- If reading books is for amusement, then why not just watch "TV" instead? (watch Najeeb Mahfouz instead of reading him).
I personally blame the Educational system on marginalizing the importance of non-curriculum books (and to an extent Engineering Departments of US colleges). I have my own amateur theory on why Education became so unrelated to everyday life. Inshallah I'll discuss it later. But I think it's rather simplistic and needs much more professional treatment to be of real value.
my 2 cents...