Technology is taking over. I may be exaggerating ever so slightly, but also, I’m not. I remember taking a science fiction class in college and seeing how, even as far back as Frankenstein, writers have been predicting the impending doom of mankind (or civilized society, at least) based on technological advancement. The difference is that when I read H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine in high school, at least I read it from an actual, page-turnable book. These days, you’re lucky if people will even read Stephen King’s book about a killer Kindle from their Kindles. You’ve heard the news; book stores can’t stay open and libraries are less relevant than ever. While reading for fun has become so very old-fashioned, reading from a tangible, flesh and blood [or leaf and ink, I should say (please silence the “bad joke” drums playing in your head right now; that joke was flawless)] book has become all but nonexistent, or at least faux pas. Don’t get me wrong, I have a Kindle. It has come to my rescue on many a treadmill, airplane, waiting room visit, and poolside Adirondack chair! As much as I love the convenience factor of my Kindle, though, nothing compares to the smell and feel of a book in your hands!
It’s interesting to me that “people reading hard copies of books” has become such a novelty. There are entire websites dedicated to snapping candid pictures of regular people reading books in public (the links can be found at the bottom of this post). I. Adore. These sites! I love that it has turned into something akin to the search for Sasquatch; we’re surprised to see that people do indeed still read books! These are the days of cell phones and iPads, and even e-readers. If you’re about to embark upon a 20 minute subway ride, you pull out your phone & play Angry Birds, you don’t whip out a hard copy of The Grapes of Wrath.
I think these websites keep reading books young and hip; there are modern forms of technology dedicated to honoring classic forms of entertainment. We, the public readers, are society’s endangered species. Luckily, sites like this can put us back on the map! I encourage everyone, myself included, to defy our reliance on technology and, instead, carry a book with you and challenge yourself to turn to it in times of boredom, waiting, or relaxing. Besides, you never know who might be looking!