by: Harry Ara Hutabarat, SH. MH. (Director of Solidarity in Action for Change for Indonesia/ SAPU INDONESIA)
World book day 2020 in Indonesia is celebrated every May 17, 2020. These days in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic that we feel are all limitations, but at the same time become more opportunities to be able to take advantage of this situation to create a culture of reading in the middle of a pandemic. The time is there now, just how to read motivation that needs to be raised. Since how many COVID-19 pandemics have you read? Quoting the question of the President of Indonesia on the day of the book yesterday. This simple question is a reminder for all of us. Do not let the opportunity of the Work From Home (WFH) time during the enactment of the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) be wasted without reading a single book. Books in this era between print and digital continue to grow, but books without readers have a substantial purpose of the meaning of a book to be very far from the goal. At present the restricted physical distance causes a lot of reduced activity. However, fond of reading can be an opportunity in WFH, this is a “golden” opportunity for us readers. to increase public awareness of the importance of reading and reading, and to appreciate the world of books to support the community more ready to manage knowledge, increase their competence and build character, both now and after the pandemic.
World Book day is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of reading, making children readers, and promoting a love of literature and lifelong integration into the world of work. Books have a unique ability to entertain and teach. books are a means of exploring nature beyond our personal experiences through exposure to various authors, the universe, and culture. Books become a means to access the innermost recesses of our inner selves. Returning to the history of National Book Day May 17 is celebrated as National Book Day. Determining the date was the idea of the Minister of Education of the Mutual Cooperation Cabinet, Prof. Dr. Abdul Malik Fadjar since 2002. The day coincided with the anniversary of the founding of the National Library of the Republic of Indonesia (National Library) in Jakarta on May 17, 1980. The establishment of the National Book Day is expected to be able to spur interest in reading Indonesian people. It is known, at that time Indonesian children’s interest in reading was quite alarming.
So it is classified as a zero book tragedy. The average reading of Indonesian children per year is only 27 pages. Far from Finland’s first place to read 300 pages in 5 days. In addition, the establishment of the National Book Day can increase book sales. In Indonesia, on average only 18 thousand titles are printed annually. The amount is far different from other countries, such as Japan with 40 thousand titles per year and China with 140 thousand titles per year. Fostering a love of reading books is a challenge for every individual. However, the commemoration of National Book Day is expected to be able to have a positive impact in making people aware of the importance of books. Indonesian people can make the National Book Day commemoration as a momentum to get to know the library and increase interest in reading books.
So, at this time besides having a commemoration of World Book Day which falls every April 23 which is more popular, Indonesian people also have National Book Day. Where both have the same goal, namely that every resident on earth love books and like to read books. Happy reading becomes a culture of our needs as a modern society.