This is a sponsored post. Photo courtesy Moyan Brenn.
In recent years, screens may have overtaken the printed page in terms of popularity, but one thing is for certain, reading is still a huge part of our lives and will always continue to be so! We enjoy reading as much for the content of what we read as for the contemplative silence it affords us – think of how many times you’ve seen someone on public transport lost in a good book, or sat in the doctor’s waiting room engrossed in a magazine.
Fast Paced Society
But today, our attention spans are not what they once were – the world moves at a much faster pace and more information is available to us in a wider range of formats than ever before. Whilst once books took time to produce and time to read, today a Kindle version of most books is available in a few seconds at the click of a button – it’s instant literary gratification. In the past, books were more rare and prized; medieval manuscripts and leather bound classic tomes graced the bookshelves of the wealthy, and people had access to books only at schools, or borrowed novels from friends or their library rather than purchasing a copy themselves. Today’s readers are just as likely to get their fix online or on their Kindle rather than heading to the local bookstore.
The advent of the e-reader has had a huge influence on how and what we read. When the first Kindle was released in 2007, nobody had any idea of the global phenomenon it would become. Gone are the days when reading on holiday meant packing chunky, heavy books into your suitcase – just fill your Kindle with e-books from Amazon or other online sites and you could have hundreds of novels at your fingertips! Owning a Kindle is definitely a fashion statement – you can choose your model, pick a colourful cover or have one custom made; it’s made reading cool again, and introduced a whole new generation to the joys of reading. Yet many people worry that e-readers will spell the death of traditional books. As the costs of downloading a Kindle book decrease, and the price of physical paperback and hardback books is on the rise, books could once again become for the wealthy, forcing more of us to read online or on our handheld devices.
Changes and the Internet
The internet has also influenced the way we read and learn – more people read than ever before, yet less people have time to sit down and relax with a good book. We read when we’re going places – a quick scan of news articles on the train or a flick through our favourite sites whilst waiting for the bus. Our attention spans are shorter and we pay less notice to what we’re reading. Yet the internet has made it easier and cheaper for people to access a range of reading material, whether online or through retailers offering lower prices than high street stores. Reading nowadays is done in an instant, it’s no longer the leisurely, relaxing activity of the past (except perhaps when on a beach holiday), but some might say the internet and e-readers are working for the future of our planet – less books means less paper, which can only be a good thing for the preservation of the environment!
The way we read will continue to change and evolve, but one thing is for certain – reading is very much like exercise, just a little can enrich and enhance our lives everyday.
Books image by Moyan Brenn.