Reading is a sensual experience. The smell of the book… It’s touch… It’s presence. Text is absorbed into your brain and a world expands in your mind. Your own voice narrates within the walls of your skull creating the world as you see fit…a world of reprieve. Your interaction with the author, with the characters, with the stories is personal, intimate.
But this is not the future of reading according to an article I came across recently.
According to the article, the future of reading is not as solitary an endeavor as it has been since its inception. The world of reading, purports Bob Stein, is being given a face lift to keep with the times. Interactive books are replacing traditional texts, including audio and visual enhancements. Writing, too, is moving to online social interaction for writing, commenting, and creating ideas alongside other people.
I caution jumping on this bandwagon. Call me a Luddite, call me old-fashioned, call me what you will, but there is something about the lone process of reading and writing that beacons us to be more than ourselves, to create more. Anyone who has never identified with a character, cried for them (or with them) or laughed with them just isn’t reading the right way or the right books. And if a person has never explored a topic they are writing, thought about it from all perspectives, gotten to know it, discussed it, well, I say they haven’t been writing properly either.
I am not against evolving the process of reading/writing, nor am I here saying that technology cannot give something to it all. More than anything, I fear for the romance I experience I feel with a book in my hands, for the life I live between pages, for the spiritual process I go through when I write. I fear that if we delve head-on into this New Age, we will lose something…something akin to Enlightenment. I am not ready for that. At least not yet.
*Photo Credit: https://www.google.co.kr/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&q=reading&tbs=sur:fmc&gws_rd=cr&ei=20HVVJjOFuS4mwWds4CgAw#q=reading&newwindow=1&tbs=sur:f&tbm=isch&imgdii=_&imgrc=3G-C0UFngJqeQM%253A%3B0uGUt9ud3alBYM%3Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fc2.staticflickr.com%252F8%252F7249%252F7658272558_1d83fa7b32_z.jpg%3Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.flickr.com%252Fphotos%252F83633410%2540N07%252F7658272558%252F%3B640%3B427