Sad, but becoming true. Here’s a New York Times article about how we’re in a visual age, and that reading just isn’t an immersive experience to today’s generation . . . because it’s a burden.
I disagree with that point. Reading is just as important and perhaps even more popular than ever — look how crowded every Barnes & Noble is on Friday and Saturday nights. I think it may be that we just have so many choices to read nowadays, that today, unlike in the past, we can’t establish clear winners . . . except in cases of huge bestsellers, such as the Harry Potter books.
Also of interest is the new (to me) concept of “three screens:” TV, the Internet and mobile phones.
The competition for reading is exactly what I said in an earlier post about newspapers: the competition isn’t other books, other magazines. It’s everything:
television shows, radio, books, soccer practice, church, shopping, going to movies, dining out, surfing the Web, having sex, driving in rush hour, washing the dog, texting, Twittering, Facebooking, going to the National, vacationing, the Skins game…every damn thing is competition.
I’m reading a wonderful (so far) mystery right now: Obedience by Will Lavender. It is SO much more engaging than any comparable show on TV. Yes, reading has competition. But nothing can replace the true immersion, the true experience, of being swallowed into a book.