The Future of Reading
I found the concept of “Contemporary Reading” extremely fascinating as a whole, My ideas and thoughts came to fruition while reading the article (How We Read: Close, Hyper, Machine, 2011) . There is no denying that we are living in a world consumed by technology, in recent years the advancement of technology has expanded more than we could have ever imagined but one question I continue to ask myself is what is the future of reading? Is it print books or e-reading? Why has online reading become so popular? Well the answer is simple, There is no longer the need to make a trip to the library and spend hours looking for the right book, instead one can quickly take out their kindle ,ipad, computer and simply Google books online without any hassle of actually physically buying them. You may ask what if people don’t want to read books? Well that answer is pretty simple too, audio books. There are always various alternatives when it comes to technology.
However, According to article “EBook sales continue to fall as younger generations drive appetite for print” (2017) it appears that E- book sales are beginning to decrease as mentioned in the above article “In 2015, the Publishers Association found that digital content sales from £563 million in 2014 to £554 million ” This is quite a drastic drop in figures in only a space of one year, while “physical book sales HAD increased from £2.74bn to £2.76bn” Again we see quite a slow but securely increase in numbers, although there are varies options when reading books, either online or on paper it seems that people will always prefer owning their own book.
What is my opinion in all of this? Personally I get a sense of satisfaction in owning my own books, the feeling of buying a book is incomparable to online reading and of course nothing beats the smell of a fresh book. Honestly, In the past I have tried reading a few books online but nothing has compared to physically owning my very own book. My eyes would become strained from staring at my computer screen and then the there was the problem with my battery running out in the middle of a good read. No, it wasn’t for me.
However I do want to look at the effects of online reading compared to paper books. From my research I came across a very interesting article called (The reading brain in the digital age: The science of paper versus screens, April 11th, 2013.) in which they discuss that “smartphones and tablets interfere with intuitive navigation of a text and inhibit people from mapping the journey in their minds.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement, when you own a book you can physically touch and imagine it which is quite different to constantly scrolling through endless pages with no imagination or creativity to it at all. There are also different shapes, sizes and textures to every individual book making them unique in their own way and as mentioned in the article (The reading brain in the digital age: The science of paper versus screens, April 11th, 2013.)“An e-reader always weighs the same, regardless of whether you are reading Proust’s magnum opus or one of Hemingway’s short stories” again this takes away that special uniqueness that a book has to offer. In conclusion, I believe that the future of reading relies on the practicalities of a physical tangible book.
The Gaurdian. [Online] 14th March 2017. [Cited: 9th October 2017.] (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/14/ebook-sales-continue-to-fall-nielsen-survey-uk-book-sales).
How We Read: Close, Hyper, Machine. Hayles, N.Katherine. 2011.
The reading brain in the digital age: The science of paper versus screens. Jabr, Ferris. April 11th, 2013.. April 11th, 2013.