Is reading dying? Many people say they have not read a book for over a year!
Reading could not be dying, we read more than ever. Not books maybe but FB posts, txts, tweets, IMs, in game notifications. When you add up all the little messages it is a lot of reading. Our attention span is shorter – too short for a whole book. Maybe we are so good at reading short messages now we can read just them by glancing. It is a new skill like “spreeding”: http://www.spreeder.com/app.php?intro=1
As the Information Age has taken hold have we responded by paying less attention? We don’t read stuff anymore, there is too much, we simply read the meta data; the header, the who from, the date and delete or click. Instant justice for content excess! Of course some sort of anti-overload filter is needed – simply as a strategy for dealing with excessive information. We scan everything and look for the links and click. Keep clicking until you get ‘exactly’ what you want.
There is no point in reading a book. We don’t need too – read books I mean. We can just Google to find out what happens.
Reading is not dying, it is simply changing.
None of the above is true! I recently read a statistic (lies) that said that sales of ebooks on the Kindle now compares with sales of regular books. That same article went on to point out that sales of regular books in the same period had gone UP! So many book shops have closed but Amazon has prospered. Reading might be dying but books are far from dead. Could it be that more books are being read by fewer people. Has the information age heralded an even greater divide between book readers and non readers.
What is reading anyway? Well, it is a way of transporting an idea from one person to many others. Do we need books to that anymore? There are other means now! Do we need publishers? Do we need to chop down trees? Does Google and self publishing for instance with WordPress bypass the need for publishers and making a book? Have we come to the moment when books become some sort of singular entity called the internet – maybe all we are missing is a better interface. The iPOD changed the way we listen to Music. It also changed the Music industry. Is there a device perhaps not yet invented that will change how we read and the whole Publishing industry?
Books tend to be linear. In the information age we don’t really do linear. We simply jump to the bit we want and then branch out. Perhaps Roy Stringers Navihedron idea is a more appropriate way of presenting information (http://www.foylearts.com/ahutton/?p=1464).