Let’s Read Oman charity drive of Dar Al Atta’a to promote reading among children

Energy Sunday 24/September/2017 20:38 PM
By: Times News Service
Let’s Read Oman charity drive of  Dar Al Atta’a to promote reading among children

Muscat: Residents in Oman will soon be able to purchase books, at discounted prices, written by some of the world’s best authors at Let’s Read Oman’s Big Book Sale on Saturday, the September 30, 2017.
With paperback books priced as low as one rial and hardbacks available for just two rials, Saturday represents a great opportunity for people in Oman to purchase books on a wide range of subjects, including history, fiction, geography, autobiographies, child care, beauty, healthcare, self-help and psychology, among others.
Run by volunteers from Dar Al Atta’a and located in Al Qurum Complex, the Let’s Read Bookshop is Oman’s first charity bookshop. Jane Jaffer, who spearheads this reading initiative, is hoping to see a large turnout.
“All of the proceeds raised here go to our Let’s Read programme at Dar Al Atta’a,” said Jaffer.
“We have two mobile library buses as part of our Maktabati programme, which go around to villages and schools, and we also sponsor a writing competition about once a year, so this programme is basically about promoting the love of reading among children in Oman.
“This is the first charity bookshop in Oman,” she added. “We set it up in 2014, the first mobile library was launched in 2013, and the actual Let’s Read programme was formed in 2007.
Children and parents like to come to our bookshop because they know they can get access to good books at reasonable prices. But we must remember that we are also role models, as parents and adults, for children. If they don’t see us reading, they don’t see that there is any importance or value to it, and they won’t take it up themselves.”
Jaffer also stressed the importance of the long-term development advantages of introducing books to children at a young age.
“I think it is very important for children to have access to good books at a very early age, because studies have shown that children who choose their own books are more motivated to read them,” she added. “I do feel that reading a book together as a family is a great bonding activity and it breeds a very healthy attitude towards reading. You get a lot more out of a book than you do from an iPad, for example, so I think there’s room for every type of reading. We need to improve children’s reading abilities, because the more you read, the more you become a lifelong learner and you have a broader attitude and outlook in life.
“Reading builds your imagination, and I think it is very important to read to stimulate a child’s creativity,” added Jaffer. “It was Einstein who said, ‘If you want children to be imaginative, read them fairy stories.’ You really need to build up a child’s imagination in as many ways as possible, and reading is just endless, as to what you can gain from it.”
She also called on residents in Oman to donate books so others could benefit from them.
“Although we have many expats who come to our bookshop here, we would definitely appreciate more Arabic books, because they are very popular in our mobile libraries. I would like to ask everyone to come forward and donate books, and see what you like at our bookshop, because there’s plenty for everyone here.”