Does Anyone Even Read Anymore?

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Yes, of course you are reading this post right now but do you ever REALLY read anymore? When was the last time you picked up a novel and read it just because? Maybe it’s not been since you were preparing for your GCSE English exams and saying quotes from ‘Of Mice and Men’ in your sleep. Maybe it’s not been since you were a child, or possibly, never at all.

Whatever the amount is, I feel that literature is losing a generation of readers and we millenials are to blame.

Don’t get me wrong, I study a combined English Literature degree and I myself, can’t remember the last time I had the time to pick up a book that wasn’t on my compulsory reading list to read for fun. I may have enjoyed some of the books I have read throughout my studies so far but still, I didn’t necessarily choose to read them. Between time, technology and contemporary interests, the psychical form of a book is facing the possibility of becoming more and more obselete to young people. Take public libraries for example, who other than a grandparent or an older relative do you know of your age that has a library card that is not for academic related reasons? Ageist perspectives aside, the reality of this topic proposes that the vast majority would not know anyone or know a very small amount that visits one – I know I have not since I was a toddler (but hey, that is just what I have observed). Yeah we all go to the library at university when we need to, but it is not out of full want to visit one – it’s mostly out of sheer panic and reluctance to start planning your essay.

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Obviously there are tablets, kindles and smart phones to download books or read magazines/articles on, and modern societies do utilise these as a preferred reading platform. With half of my degree surrounding Media Studies, I too love and embrace this kind of innovative technology. However, it is the thousands of films, apps and distractive forms of social media that technology offers us that have become our main source of entertainment. So where does this leave books? I cannot help but think it would be a real shame if books lost their value and readership through being completely replaced by digital technology. Even newspaper and magazine publications are all evolved online now, and printed issues are not a huge requirement now when you can just pay for subscriptions straight to your smart phone without setting foot out the house or even your bed. I mean I use media platforms like this incessantly throughout my day, but yet the concept of reading Elle Magazine online is nothing to me compared to going and buying their latest issue, it is almost less special or feels slightly insignificant to me. Although, this is also why I have a ridiculously large stack of Elle Magazine’s hoarded in my room and taking up a lot of space.

Not to forget the rise of the blogosphere, this platform is growing at a rapid place and quite frankly, I love it and I love attempting to be apart of it too. However, could you ever consider blogging literature? Nevertheless, I think if it gets people reading, and clearly a lot of young people are being intrigued by blogs, then it is an extremely innovative way of encouraging a generation of technology users to maintain a keen interest in reading… Not to sound like a ‘naggy’ mum or anything. Of course reading is not for everyone, but if you take a minute to think about the sheer importance and respect that centuries before us have had towards books as a form of entertainment. It would be such a shame if its relevance completely disappeared to society once generations of people who never grew up around technology have passed. Will people only ever read books when they have to, not when they want to? Will only a small majority even still read them?

What do you guys think? Are you still an avid reader yourself or are simply accustomed to this digital age now? Oh, and if you had not realised, this is just something I find particularly interesting so I thought it would be useful to write about it outside of university associated work and see what people think.

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