Thursday, 13 February 2014
Is Reading for Pleasure a Dying Art?
The story was picked up by a number of newspapers with both The Guardian and The Telegraph devoting column inches to the death of reading. The thought that this may be true depresses the hell out of me, and I suspect the majority of Archive readers will feel the same way. I read regularly, always have and I've always got a book (fiction) on the go as well as having written a fair few and hoping to write a lot more.
I Googled, 'Death of Reading' and within the blink of an eye my request had traveled the virtual highways, gone through the secret government surveillance bots and returned a mass of interesting articles, as well as a couple of pornography sites. Are there any keywords not used by pornography web sites? I found the piece on the blog Poetic Serendipity to be interesting. Written and posted back in 2010 it was concerned over a survey, the results of which can be downloaded as a PDF HERE, and again made for depressing reading for the writer.
'It is now possible to see the decline of literature in normal life.' Ruth Rendell
So is reading dying? I'm not so sure but I think, rather I know that the traditional ways of obtaining fiction are if not dying then at least being reshaped into something new.eBooks may have been around for a long while but it's only in recent years that they have become mainstream. And it's no use arguing that eBooks are not mainstream because they are. These days I think I see more people reading on electronic devices than I do physical books. So I think eBooks will be the Savior of fiction reading and that reading will enjoy a resurrection, a digital resurrection that ensures that reading fiction is something that will be done for a long, long time to come.
I bloody well hope so.