I’ve heard that some believe printed books are on the way out. Kindle or any e-pub is the wave of the future. From where I sit in the circle of life, I don’t believe it.
I have attended as a visitor and been the speaker at book clubs. You are not going to pry the printed pages out of the hands of members. I meet regularly with a senior group where the local librarian presents and reviews at least 10 books each month. Then the group reads/shares at their leisure.
I’m not saying we must choose one form or another. It is a fact that e-readers are here to stay and do have a place in this fast moving society of instant communication. I have two Kindles. Both are filled with enough reading for many summers. They are convenient for waiting rooms where most of the magazines tell of Hollywood marriages already in divorce proceedings. But a novel in your pocketbook weighs about the same and won’t quit on you should you forget to recharge. (Been there – yes the device has done that.)
I find it hard to accept that the younger generation will completely abandon print. MrW and I go to the library nearly every week so he can replenish the pile of books on his reading table. He has used one of the kindles but prefers the heft of what he sees as the “real thing”. At each visit we see children, even toddlers, carrying an arm full of reading. We see mother’s with tote bags bulging with books followed by children already scanning pages on their newest find.
If children are exposed to only an eReader are they shunning books as they use the device for games? Quick reactions may be toned but what about imagination and curiosity? Are we cheating some from developing a love for reading?
My fourteen year old granddaughter is a voracious reader. I hardly ever see her without a book. She has the most up to date devices for reading, playing games, researching, skyping, doing homework and so forth. But she seems most engrossed when curled up on the end of the couch with a print book.
I know my love of reading lead me into a lifelong dream of writing. Being carried to places unknown (perhaps on a magic carpet), to discover wonders never before imagined while reading stories authored by someone I’ll never meet, set my mind on fire. I wanted to paint pictures with words. The fact my dream became possible when I reached my seventies only added years of color to my palette of words and an increased depth of life experiences where I could dip my brush to spread stories across the page.
Kindle or print, the love of reading must be nurtured. I don’t mean quick messages via smart phones or squeezed into 140 characters. From cloth to hardcover picture stories to the joy of a first chapter book, the gift of escaping to others worlds and adventures must be nourished.
Just remember Kindles are convenient but they sure do nothing for a bookshelf.