Remember when Kindle came on the scene? If I remember correctly, people actually thought it meant the end of reading books. But is reading going away, this past-time replaced by TV and smartphones?
I’m sure I can see that perspective. Tastes change, and the way we ingest information and entertainment change. People don’t really go see plays anymore, not to the extent we used to, and we also watch TV differently – as in we binge. So I can see that something new scared people.
But I think we’re okay when it comes to books, for now.
Powerful companies and individuals still make money from books, so they won’t push them out the door until books are no longer lucrative. We just read them on a screen now. Well, some do. I still prefer the good old paper version, but audio is nice because life is just. So. Busy.
So reading isn’t going anywhere. Sorry to those of you who don’t find joy in reading or much purpose for it. But reading is sticking around because for a large group of people it’s simply a joy to sit down and read. For others it’s a necessity because they understand that books are a necessary—and an inexpensive—part of learning. And news flash, we want to keep learning, guys.
Something about reading the words on a page helps us think through and navigate principles different from when we hear it audibly.
Why should we read, might I ask?
Reading helps our imagination. When we read a story we have to picture it, even more than when someone tells it to us.
Reading helps our communication. When we see thoughts and sentence structure written down it enables us to learn that structure, retain it, and then utilize it through verbal communication.
Reading increases our vocabulary. Maybe that’s not a live or die reason, but I like knowing what someone else is talking about when they use big words. And I like not sounding stupid by using a word incorrectly (which I still do all the time, by the way. But I’m getting slightly less embarrassing)
Reading does help you learn things. We’re talking $15 to learn some brilliant idea or strategy or way of seeing the world (that can go for fiction or nonfiction), which would cost a lot more to learn in a classroom.
Reading makes you a better writer. If writing is your game, you better be picking up all sorts of books on a consistent basis. Even if it’s not, we live in an online-dependent world right now, and crafting intelligent-sounding sentences is a necessity. Or would you prefer insulting people through your tone and ill-use of the semicolon?
Reading gives you a break from all your screen time. Unless you read on a tablet, which even then isn’t terrible. But picking up a book instead of a tablet will help your eyes rest and also help your brain comprehend the words better.