A few years ago, Islamabad markets were bearing a few handy bookshops as an integral entity. From stonking good reads to stinking bad literature, the supply was fair to middling. Though not at par with great book-selling points from Karachi and Lahore, it was still endurable. Those shops were undoubted harbour refugees for book eaters: records would be piled up one upon another; the book-bugs would sniff their pages and sink in before making out into their head-ledger about what to take up or what to put down. Being a little boy, I was pretty much entangled into the children fiction literature that was a world apart: trancing and sorcerously wizardly. My good habits regrettably brought me some bad friends and so was the case with my book-reading avocation, as, one day, I stole a storybook, the “effort” that my vagabond friends attributed as a righteous deed then. It was about time I got caught on my first and last attempt and all hell broke loose. That fine evening I discovered I could run like a divorced Hyena; outrightly beating my mates, hands down. Had I not discovered my fair-weathered friends off the scene, while I was bending over my backwards, I would not have surrendered stealing as I found it a “rewarding” job. Luckily their “cut and run” broke my heart, laughed at my face and expectations were met with dashed hopes: I quit stealing. That one storybook, which I stole being an eleven-year-old, remained my only asset afterwards. Fast forward to 2021, I see the contemporary twin cities markets with more aggressive outlooks and sophisticated dynamics but with lesser book points. It seems as if the growing culture of the screen has taken a toll on book-reading routines and book-points have been replaced by either fast food outlets or toggery shops. As ironic as it may sound, I see an assortment of food vendors making bucks, clothing brands proliferating by leaps and bounds, gadgets sinking in souls, social media gimmicks taking time by the forelocks and corporate tenets surging to the pinnacle but no one out there to lend a hand to sinking book-reading culture. The only force playing the first fiddle in here seems to be the corporate culture, which has sucked all eyes into the tractor beam of useless practices. A friend of mine brought out the verdict the other day: “Book-culture has ceased to exist anymore for that people consume screens more than pages nowadays.” Really? My first response went: “Then why do we see people from across the globe, predominately off developed nations, yet keeping those pocket-size books with them during commutations despite owing to the latest digital gadgets Why have the most technologically sophisticated people on the planet earth refused to choke that physical interaction with books despite having e-books” I was met with silence. While I’m busy fixing this paradox, the DC Islamabad reveals that drones are being introduced for food delivery service in the capital, launched in collaboration with a famous food-delivery service provider. Well, honestly, on the verge of the city’s structural annihilation, this looks like the most hilarious response from the highest administration at the helm of Federal Capital, to the problems of the metropolis. Referring to a “model” city, does this city have its water-shortage problems fixed? Drainage system revised? Geotechnical studies (that never happened before) conducted for illegal housing schemes. Ironically, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration has congratulated the citizens for being the most advanced and technology-loving civil administration in the country; that too amid the hustle-bustle of Nobel Prize distributions, God forbid. To be able to be at par with the highest technology ISO standards, they are now officially taking Civil Drone Authority (CDA) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on board, and the mission is to enable people to reach out to eateries springing up like mushrooms. Till now, you might have gotten pretty much confused about this un-due bending of the subject of focus, from book-reading to drones delivering food, but hold on there, the due-analogy works here: don’t we see our priorities have changed and so has our society. You see every single problem that should have been focused on a priority basis has either been snubbed or ditched and rather more unnecessary cultural values are being inculcated. The only force playing the first fiddle in here seems to be the corporate culture, which has sucked all eyes into the tractor beam of useless practices. We are now spending billions on food, clothing, and amusement routines but not setting aside a few bucks for books. In this case, where do we expect intellect, rationalism and innovation spurting through from? The culminating book-reading culture is the writing is on the wall but who cares? Well, probably my friend is right, the book culture has certainly gone, especially in countries where people are habitual foodies, belly gods, entangled into few luxuries, do not think beyond bellies, least interested in cognitive science and having thick viscous cholesterol-laden blood running through veins whereupon ceasing their intellect and making them look like the most lethargic and impotent people on planet earth. During all the hustle and bustle of Nobel Prize-Winning moments, goodbye books, a bid farewell! The writer is a research-based analyst from Islamabad. He can be reached at email@example.com.