1st Place


     In a world the changes everyday, a small country such as Albania is obliged to adapt to the change. The world changes because we, the people who populate it, change. We alter, so each upcoming generation has and is supposed to have different characteristics from the forerunner. As people gain new habits, the old ones, probably more valuable ones get lost. The development of technology has made our lives easier. Today children prefer spending all day on their phones taking selfies , sending tweets , playing games and double tapping rather than doing more conventional things such as playing outside or reading a book. To focus on the latter, less and less people of our generation prefer reading books as a leisure activity. Rarely do you cross people and especially teenagers in a book store. It seems like the youth’s desire of reading books has ebbed in an inconspicuous way. This is a problem that affects culturally our beloved country. As the generation suffering this issue we are the ones to find a solution to it.

      According to me, the problem is that today a teenager is oblivious towards that benefits that a simple task, such as reading a book can provide to him. They find reading books as a waste of time of which no good can come. They have to be convinced that reading books can supply them with immense profits which can not come out of social networks. An awareness campaign should be held in order to educate the children with the culture of reading books. Beginning in schools where kids spend a plethora of their time an awareness campaign should start. Children must be taught the importance of reading and the goods that can come out of it. With the help of governmental institutions or even private associations a movement composed of only juveniles can be erected. This non profit organization can organize conferences in elementary schools and not only, but also in high schools. There are lots of educated, fecund and verbose young who would volunteer to keep speeches for teenagers in order to promote reading. Youth centers already exist in most of the cities of Albania so it won’t be necessary to create these organizations from scratch. All there is to do is to employ these youth centers to be responsible for this new task.

      Furthermore another solution to stimulate reading is by making youth conscious of books. There are many ways by which we can achieve this goal. First of all, we can reach our target by advertising. It’s easy to put advertisements all around us to attract attention towards the issue we are attempting to solve. Simple posters or even leaflets can be handed over to students everywhere. They can be distributed in schools, on streets and elsewhere. It’s never hard to reach the teenagers with all these sources of information they use everyday. Using ads on their beloved internet or even Facebook we can have their attention even for just enough to plant inside them the desire for reading books. Another way is to create some simple stands distributing books in the most crowded squares of the cities. Albania is not a big country and that is why it is easy to cover a large surface with not many people. Youth centers can add on their to-do list spending some time behind a stand attracting attention for books. They can do this by spreading leaflets or even selling books. People would cross this stand everyday on the way to their homes, works and schools. Sooner or later they would tend to be curious towards this new object. If someone stopped, another one also would and then some more would like to see what is going on. Not necessarily they would buy a book or get a leaflet but the message would be delivered and the public would be more aware of what we intend to achieve by all these activities.

      The general truth about people is that the have this tendency to go after stuff which is free whether they need it or not. So I do believe that the youth of Albania in cooperation with the government or private organization can organize book fairs. It is true and I am totally aware of the book fair held every year in Tirana. Well, during those few days per year that the fair is on, it is the center of the public attention. It is all over the news and it makes the main topic of discussion between people. Anyway the truth is that once per year that this fair is held is not enough to deliver the message we intend to make known. People are enticed by discounts and even more by free stuff. It does not require much to organize a fair more often so that the public is faced with it repeatedly. People in general, but especially the young would take delight of spending their time riffling through the pages of many books, and even buy them, considering the discounts that the fairs usually have to offer.

     To conclude, I do believe in the increase of the consciousness of the Albanian population towards the importance of reading books. The youth plays an essential role in our society because the youth is the proof that we are alive. It is the motor of our society and it is the generator that keeps humanity moving forward. Every great political, social movement has started with the young setting the spark. Also in this awareness campaign I reckon that the youth should be allowed to take the wheel and be provided with enough sources to reach our goal. Reading books is a habit that has lasted centuries and is the essential sign of cultural life within a country. So let’s keep our future society breathing and refined as Vera Nazarian once put: “Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light”.

Kevin Albajrami – Mehmet Akif College