In Pakistan, a book reading culture is rarely found. It is due to many reasons but one of them is worth discussing: the cost of books. Nowadays, books are so expensive, and bibliophiles struggle to afford them. Thus it causes a decrease in book reading. Whenever one reaches out for a good book, they have to hold themselves back as the price of the book is beyond reach.

As an ardent reader, I realised that huge taxes have been imposed on books abroad coming into Pakistan in the last five years, which has escalated the price of books. Taxes bar locally published books from being affordable as well. This tax imposition only undermines students, libraries and readers who are keen to read good books. I earnestly hope the government will rise to the occasion and reform these taxes.

Book reading would produce a huge change in society. If a large number of people would have access to books for a minimum price, it will create awareness amongst the masses. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you use to change the world”.

If education is the top priority of the current government, then these heavy taxes should not be imposed on these books. Book reading enriches one’s knowledge about nature, science, art, religion, patriotism, etc. Therefore the government should relieve students and reform the taxes system on books.

IMTIAZ ESSA HALEPOTO,

Jamshoro.