Monday, August 30, 2010

Who reads anymore?

There was a time - not too long past - when a trip to the library was a joyful event. Time breezed by in the dim light as the eyes strained to read the spines of books laid out along shelves that went from ceiling to floor.

The satisfaction of the well-chosen set of novels tucked underarm made the walk home in the evening gloom a daydreaming delight. It was the expectation of hours of pleasurable reading and learning that created the warm feeling.

How many young people experience such simple pleasures now? Life has moved on and I venture to say that library attendance figures have fallen. The draw of computer game, TV or DVD has led to the type of instant gratification that reading doesn't provide.

Maybe the advent of ebooks will pave a way for the re-introduction of reading to young people. The modern iPad or other eReader fits more into the arsenal of gadgetry that the young feel at home with. Even the iPhone can provide a reading vehicle.

The modern library may be more like a computer gadget room than a physical book repository. Should we bemoan this development? Not if young people start reading again.