The world changes actively. Many things change along with the world and some things remain the same. Reading books seems to be one of the things that vanishes slowly and often are substituted with more exciting and seemingly interesting leisure activities. Thus, question arises if books really become outdated and what are the reasons behind it.
Different researches suggest that one of the reasons are young people since they do not read books as much as they used to, while older people keep doing it as before. Thus, the reason for this might be the world of new opportunities. For instance, the diversity of things young people can do nowadays cannot be compared to that amount of twenty or thirty years ago. Life becomes so hectic for many of them that reading books is not an option anymore. More young men and women opt for socializing with others and lead an active lifestyle, thus books sometimes may be seen as a burden slowing their life down.
Jessica Moyer argues that number of young people that are fond of reading does not decrease essentially and in some cases even grows. According to her, the difference between past and present is in the format that young people prefer. In our modern world that becomes everyday more and more digital, moreover with the Internet and its variety of social networks, blogs, sites, online periodicals and even libraries, people still have a lot to read, and even more than they could decades ago. In a sense, reading has become much easier and faster. Though, there seems to be a striking difference between what people used to read and what they read now. Now, young people can spend hours reading silly chats, posts, comments, articles, news etc. since the Internet is full of such junk. On the whole, young people and teenagers in particular do not know how to use the Internet right and manage their time. Very often, pointless wandering through the Internet turns out to be a real addiction, and instead of having nice time reading something a person is just wasting his or her time.
With regard to the books, there is one advantage of the modern world being digital. Now, people can have numerous books in one small gadget. Thus, books are not heavy to carry anymore. People can easily take as many books as they want and wherever they want to read they choose the book to read or listen; furthermore, the audio books are not common nowadays. Though, some say that while listening to an audio book people do not comprehend the text as much as when they read an actual book.
There is also an opinion that modern authors are somewhat guilty of people not reading much as well. John Kunnathu suggests that writers should work hard in order to produce a work of a high quality. They should not think about how many people are going to read their work and should just focus on the work itself, since quantity comes with quality. Some writers produce their works only to make a screen adaptation of it. In other words, they are not writing a novel, they are writing a script for the future movie. Therefore, people will probably not find pleasure in reading such works.
One more very important thing about reading that has to be mentioned is that a good reading and comprehending is not possible without a good visualization. This means that reading, especially reading the belletristic literature, develops imagination enormously. One may say that imagination is a useless ability and people can do without it. Well, the truth is that it is not useless at all. Imagination plays a crucial role in people’s life and many great intellects of the previous centuries accented this. One of them is Albert Einstein, who was asserting that imagination is more important than knowledge.
However, in the modern world of extremely realistic video games, 7D cinemas, the Internet and other technological gadgets imagination is not needed at all, since everything is already done for us. It starts in the early childhood, when the parents are too busy or too lazy to read a tale for their children, thereby to foster love for books and imagining in them. Instead, parents let their kids play video games or watch TV set, thus parents are not bothered. Children grow up and books seem tedious to them, which is quite understandable and predictable. Who would choose black-and-white boring pages over fantastically vivid, colorful moving pictures not knowing that reading can be fascinating as well? Not children or teenagers for sure.
Another reason why people do not want to read is that many movies are screen versions of different books. People, who are lazy by nature, in most cases will choose spending two hours on watching a movie with fabulous special effects rather than three days on reading a book. What such people fail to understand is that reading books and using imagination may be far more spectacular than watching any Hollywood blockbuster. Unfortunately, with such a trend, books may appear in danger of extinction sooner or later.
These seem to be the main factors reducing the number of active book readers. People may also explain their unwillingness to read books by saying that they do not have free time, enough money and enough experience; that they are too tired and reading is too hard or by any other reason (Lombardi). In fact, there are only two reasons keeping them from reading – either they do not know how reading is magnificent or they simply do not want to read. Everything else is just a lame excuse.
In the end, reading books does seem to become obsolete. People are constantly busy with doing something, hurrying somewhere, talking to someone, watching and playing something, doing anything but reading books. Reading books is usually replaced by activities of more fun, such as playing video games, watching movies and wasting time in the Internet. These are the activities of modern world and reading books probably cannot compete with them.