OSOGBO BOOK CLUB PARTNERS WITH IHRAF BOOK CLUB, COMMENCES ADVOCACY IN READING IN OSUN STATE In a bid to improve learning and reading culture in Osun State, the Osogbo Book Club (an initiative of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers) has partnered with IHRAF Book Club, book promotion platform of the International Human Rights Art Festival in USA to promote dwindling and moribund reading culture in Osun State. This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Godwin Grace in Osogbo on Monday. In 2014, 2016 and 2017, Osogbo Book Club in conjunction with the Osun State branch of the National Library of Nigeria under the headship of Mr. Bashir Akanni Salawu and Mrs Felicia Abosede Oyeleke held series of book reading programmes which were sponsored by the Board aimed at reviving and enhancing book reading culture in the state. The programmes also featured arts exhibitions and reading of creative books. According to the release, “Nigeria has been rated by the World Culture Score Index as one of the countries in the world with the lowest reading culture, while available statistics from National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education shows that 38 per cent of Nigerians are non-literate as four in ten primary school children cannot read for comprehension. Regrettably, this adverse development is an ominous challenge the country seems not to be paying needed attention to. There is generally a poor reading culture in the country. The rich literacy history the country is famous for is gradually been eroded. Once upon a time, the country paraded the best set of authors and publishers in Africa. Then, reading was an innate affection for both young and old. This reading inclination reflected so much on the quality of leadership and civil discipline that brought pride to Nigerians anywhere in the world. In Osun State, reading culture has suffered from widespread poverty, ineptitude and a dearth of dedicated quiet reading spaces like libraries. The decline in the standard of education has seriously affected reading ability. And it becomes harder when you have to deal with the many distractions and challenges that come with being an adult and living in a state like Osun State. Perhaps, our socio-economic environment is not reading friendly. The daily struggle for economic survival provides little or no time for people to cultivate a good reading habit. Equally, high cost of books, particularly imported ones, has contributed to low readership promotion in the country. Every last Saturdays of every month, Osun state book lovers, voracious readers, writers, artists will now be converging to discuss old and latest books, read to an interesting audience, meet the guest writer and reader and also get their works published in the newsletter of the club. Osogbo Book Club is an initiative of Society of Young Nigerian Writers. It was established by the Society in order to contribute its own quota towards the growth and development of Reading Culture in Osun State. Osogbo Book Club consists of group of people who get together, periodically meet to discuss the book they have read, and to exchange such books. The members of the club encourage each other, and learn to read with a critical awareness, articulating their opinions on a particular book with the others. Certain types of books not available or read receive attention through the book club.