Book clubs in the Western Cape are excited about the new online reading service in the province, saying it will promote a culture of reading in many communities.
The Western Cape Library Service recently launched an e-book service, which will bring e-books and audiobooks to library users across the province.
Library patrons can borrow books from the comfort of their homes using the new Libby app. E-books will be available in isiXhosa, English and Afrikaans.
The initiative comes after the Department of Basic Education’s launch of the Reading for Meaning Programme last year. For many years, it has been a concern that many primary school children read without understanding a book’s content.
The founder of Active Citizens Everyday Book Club, Mondeka Mabibini, from Philippi, says accessing books online will help children from her community and neighbouring Samora Machel to read from the devices they are already hooked on.
“Most of the time you find that children have smartphones and have access to the internet, so they will now be able to use their devices educationally. This will help them improve their reading skills, without going to the library,” she says.
Mabibini adds that reading is important because it helps grow a child’s mind.
“When reading, a child is able to imagine something without having seen it.
"A reading child grows up to be a sympathetic child. While reading, they develop emotions about the characters in the book. Reading also helps improve one’s knowledge.”
Mabibini says to get children to read with meaning, parents need to use strategies to get children to think as they read. When children read, parents must ask them to retell the story to test their understanding.
The app can be downloaded from Google Play Store or Apple iStore.