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Why Malaysians Should Read More, According To Marina Mahathir

It really does.

Cover image via BookXcess

The average Malaysian reads just 1.5 books a year

Image via Giphy

That is depressingly low.

To help encourage a greater readership among Malaysians, BookXcess, well-known for its affordable books, has teamed up with Marina Mahathir and other leaders on its 10th anniversary

They have 3 main goals they're trying to achieve.

These are:

1. To increase the average number of books Malaysians read in a year
2. To let Malaysians discover the joy of reading and discovering new books
3. To make Malaysians realise that books can be affordable

Here are 3 reasons why Marina Mahathir thinks you should read:

1. It will stop you from becoming a bigot

Image via BookXcess

If you find yourself being close-minded and are often intolerant of other people’s problems, reading can change that.

"They put you in someone else's shoes. The best authors are able to do that so you empathise with their problems and their issues. You don't really have to have anything in common with them in real life" she said.

She also described a book she read called The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy.

Image via Daily Pakistan

The book tells the tales of some of the darkest and violent times of modern Indian history. She particularly liked the story of a character who was a transgender woman. The book gives you a peak into her life and takes you along her journey up to the point where she finally felt like her truest self.

She said, "The worst bigots are actually the ones who have never met the people they are against. Books help you meet those people."

2. It can challenge your perception on things

Image via BookXcess

Mahathir described her experience reading the biography of Karen Armstrong.

Armstrong detailed her time spent as a Catholic nun and how awful her experience was. This got her into questioning lots of things, such as institutionalised religion, for example. She then went on to become a very well-known Islamic scholar and now has written what Mahathir says are "fascinating books about Islam that are more enlightening than most people".

Reading exposes you to topics and ideas you otherwise wouldn't have known about and so will help you form your own perspectives on things as a result of a deeper understanding of the subject.

3. It can make you a better leader

Image via BookXcess

She said that, in order to become a leader, you don't have to be an expert on everything. But you do have to be an expert in whatever subject you're passionate about.

"I really think it's important for every single person to be an expert in something. It could be about stamp collecting, woodworking, 1960s pop music, fashion or whatever. But you're an expert in it."

"How could you do that without reading?"

Watch Marina Mahathir’s video that’s full of wisdom:

If these weren't already enough to make you pick a book up anytime soon, BookXcess is now on a mission to reignite Malaysians' love for books

Image via SAYS

They believe that education is the core solution to all problems. And they aren't just talking about the type of education you get from schools. They believe that a proper and holistic education includes social education, emotional education and creative education.

Which is what books can give you!

They have also launched the #ReadByExample charity drive in conjunction with their 10th anniversary

Image via BookXcess

This is a drive where customers can walk into BookXcess outlets, buy a book, write a personal message in it and donate the book to one of the seven different causes and organisations they support.

These are:

1. Women’s Aid Organisation
2. Fugee School
3. Yayasan Chow Kit
4. AirAsia Foundation
5. SEED Foundation
6. SEMOA
7. Malaysian Federation of the Deaf

The drive will be carried out at their outlets in Amcorp Mall, The Starling and Fahrenheit 88

Image via SAYS

It will last throughout the month of August.

Share this for the love of reading!

You could also visit the nearest outlet today and get yourself (or someone else) a new book. : )

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