Recently, when I told my friend that I was not finding enough time to read, she scoffed at me and said, “Who even reads anymore? Don’t you have a phone to keep you updated?” That sentence was such a jolt to me, and I realized that a majority of people consider reading a waste of time, thanks to the digital age. Whether you are an adult or a child, everyone is engrossed in all kinds of digital mediums, making reading an obsolete hobby.
If you come to think of it, an increasing number of people are reading, but that does not amount to traditional reading. ‘Reading’ as a hobby is diminishing, and for book enthusiasts like myself, it is disheartening, to say the least. More and more bookstores are closing down, and that is a disturbing trend.
Sometimes it makes me think if words will be lost collectively; whole words, paragraphs, texts- all gone from collective memory. All we will be left with will be short-forms, 240 character tweets, and Instagram captions. Books are relevant only when someone reads it, otherwise its nothing but sacrificed forests. Wouldn’t such a world be bleak? I shudder to think.
Our younger generation is far engrossed in consuming short, easy, digestible content due to which they are unable to commit to reading a book. Because reading a book is a commitment you make to yourself; without that commitment in place, reading is nothing but a chore. I am appalled at the lack of love for reading in today’s youth. But I realize that visual storytelling is what they enjoy the most. A medium where you do not have to wait for what will happen next, the information is dished out in a matter of a few hours. Alas! The love for reading is diminishing.
I agree that there are several factors influencing the choice of visuals over reading, but in my opinion, parents also play a huge role. The ease that electronic devices provide has convinced parents that not reading will not harm their child as they are learning in any case. That attitude is also a significant reason for reading to become obsolete. I, as a parent, have filled an entire library full of books and insist my children give time to reading. Little efforts from parents can help inculcate the right reading attitude. I urge one and all, give reading a little bit more importance!
To conclude, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin