Tuesday, February 25, 2020, Cyberjaya – Amidst all the political fiasco in the country, this year, Kuala Lumpur city has been recognized as the World Book Capital by UNESCO.
In line with this theme, the government, NGOs and industry players have worked hard to enhance the culture of reading in the country.
We often think that Malaysians do not like to read, but this assumption is completely misleading.
Malaysians in this era read more than they did decades ago because we always read on the screen of our devices.
However, what we read today is usually short texts in the form of messages, postings and snippet sharings.
According to various studies, the challenge in reading short texts promotes shorter attention span and reduction in mind concentration as well as stamina.
Xentral Methods Sdn Bhd, the operator of e-Sentral ebook store, has developed technologies that utilize data and AI to overcome the challenges short text reading bring.
According to e-Sentral Managing Director, Faiz Al-Shahab, long text reading or long form reading is a form of exercise for our minds.
“By reading long texts in the form of stories, biographies, information, or entertainment, our minds will develop stamina for a longer attention span, encourages cognitive thinking, stimulate imagination, and more thinking in general.
Unfortunately, we all agree that reading is important, but we do not understand why it is important”, Faiz said.
Faiz also explains how the new feature in E-Sentral app can be used to foster reading through technology.
“The updated e-Sentral application provides intelligence and analysis of our reading health.
A metaphor will be something like a weight loss app, where we measure calories, walking or running distance and so on, e-Sentral app measures user’s reading habits, and time spent reading.
The performance will also be provided in the form of brief reports from week to week, so that users will be encouraged to read more long text material.
Directly, e-Sentral app is an application that is used to stimulate reading interest, or to train yourself to practice a healthy long-text reading culture”, continues Faiz.
This technology behind reading analysis has also been applied by the company in digital libraries for schools.
In this context, a student’s digital book loan will be automatically measured when the student uses the digital book.
When students read of flip through pages of the digital books loaned, each page is matched by the time spent.
Then, a report will be generated by the system for teachers to monitor student’s reading performance.
Pioneering digital book industry and technology in Southeast Asia, E-Sentral began operations in 2012 with less than 100 ebook titles, and now offers over 300 thousand titles, and now champions long-form text reading through technology.
“Reading ebooks is becoming more common because naturally, consumers are switching the format to digital as consumers spend more time with devices.
As predicted, ebooks are also becoming more and more popular,” Faiz explained.
“On the other hand, ebooks are cheaper, more practical, because we can get or buy them anytime, there is always stock, no need to go out, as long as there is Internet, we can get the ebook and start reading.
For those who love to read, ebooks make it easy for them to carry multiple titles with them wherever they go, as if a small library were at their fingertips ”, continued Faiz.
As the print industry deteriorates, the use of digital books has increased day by day. e-Sentral has posted an increase of 177% in sales over the last 18 months.
The company’s intention is to become a leading application in reading and education in Southeast Asia.