You’ve likely heard the speculation and assertions going around about the rise of technology and the resulting demise of books. People have increasing options for entertainment these days, and plenty of folks don’t do much book reading unless they have to. Sure.
Nevertheless, increasing options for entertainment isn’t a new phenomenon.
Take motion pictures and television for example. When the television was invented, people worried about what would happen to Hollywood and the silver screen. Why would anybody bother getting up and going out to the movies anymore when most of those people would have screens to entertain them right in the comfort of their homes?
Yet, people kept on going to the movies anyway.
Today, even with the availability of streaming services and Blu-ray discs, and our ability to watch movies on our TVs, tablets, and smartphones, movie theaters are still around. Getting up and going out to buy buckets of buttery popcorn to munch on while taking in motion pictures on huge screens with big sounds in the company of fellow motion picture fans gives people an experience they can’t get by watching a flick on their tablet or phone.
I’m of the same mind as other readers who believe that people who truly love to read books are going to (you guessed it) read books. It gives us an experience we simply don’t get from TV, movies, video games, social media, and other forms of entertainment.
Besides how enjoyable they are to read, books help us to strengthen our reasoning and critical thinking skills, to keep our imaginations sharp, to become more empathetic human beings, to see and consider ideas from different angles, and to become better at expressing our own ideas through words when we need to write or articulate.
That’s not an exhaustive list of the benefits of reading, by the way.
As entertainment options increase, it becomes more important for readers to stress and demonstrate the value and need for books, especially to children. When I was growing up, my parents made sure my siblings and I had a TV and movies we could watch. They bought us toys, sporting equipment, and video games. And they bought us books. They took us to the public library, where we each checked out books with our own library cards. They started a reading club where the whole family participated. My parents sat down in the living room and spent quality time absorbed in books, so my siblings and I saw our mom and dad reading, not just using all of their leisure time to veg in front of the tube.
Now, even with the various options my brothers and sister and I have for entertainment and learning, we still read books.
So, fellow book lovers, as technology advances and entertainment thrives, let’s keep books alive. Let’s keep books on our shelves at home and at the ready on our e-readers, tablets, and phones. We’re even free to turn on audiobooks to listen to when our hands and eyes are otherwise occupied.
Some folks out there have gotten this strange notion that books are becoming obsolete or something, but book devotees everywhere know better.