On extra-curricular reading

Reading is often thought of as something that only happens in the classroom. However, there is a growing movement to encourage students to read outside of school as well. This is known as “extracurricular reading,” such as novels, personal developmental books, historical books, etc, which have a number of benefits for students. Extracurricular reading can help to improve literacy skills, expand your vocabulary, and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It can also provide a much-needed break from the stress of schoolwork and offer an escape into another world.

The culture of reading is greatly declining in our society today, especially in Nigeria. It has declined greatly, particularly among the youth who now spend most of their time on social media, chatting, watching skits, memeing, and making meaningless video posts, etc.

If you see many people (especially the youth) reading today, then just know that they are probably reading for a test, examinations, or for an assignment. They hardly read out of school books, which are important for their personal growth. Our reading shouldn’t be limited to school curriculum because there are a lot of diverse subjects and topics we need to learn about in life that wouldn’t be taught in school or even at home.

Let’s say you are studying engineering. Engineering won’t teach you how to be morally upright. It won’t teach you the various aspects of the history of your people and the current affairs. It won’t teach you grammar. It won’t teach you how to build a home (family). Let’s say you have stage fright, engineering won’t teach you how to overcome it. It won’t teach you about how to maintain good health. It won’t teach you about God and your religion better than a religious book would. It won’t teach you how to maintain good relationships with people (human relations), etc. All these are essential knowledge we need to acquire to live a better life. If you have been taught one of these, it will only be basic knowledge and not in-depth as you ought to know about it.

Reading out of the school curriculum is the only way we can equip ourselves with a proper understanding of these subjects altogether. Reading out of the curriculum shapes and guides our perspective and decision-making in the world. A reader is a leader, and that is the fact and reality of life. A book is like a stream of flowing knowledge, which is mostly craved by those who are truly thirsty (curious) for knowledge. The more they drink from it to quench their thirst (curiosity), the more knowledgeable they become. In essence, what I am saying is that the more you read, the smarter, sharper, and more knowledgeable you will become, especially when reading out of school books in addition to school books.

One of several reasons why we should read out of school books, in addition to reading school notes and textbooks, is that it gives you a significant edge above your peers. It makes you stand out. Also, if we take a deep look at what makes one a leader, knowledge is the basic attribute that must be present. Other attributes can be built on its foundation. That’s why we should endeavor and cultivate the habit of reading out of school books, especially personal development books, etc., so that we can be exposed to the treasury of information that lies within the pages of books, shaping our perception about life.

Without knowledge, leadership can’t work with you. People only follow those who know better than them, and that is why they say “information is power.” A knowledgeable person is someone who is well-informed, giving them an edge over others. A reader is a knowledgeable person, and knowledge is what makes a leader. So, a reader is a leader.

Berenda Hassan Bola,

200L Mass Communication student,

Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria Kaduna state