Friday, October 6, 2017

For love of reading

We've seen great upheavals in the world of publishing and bookselling in my lifetime, and especially in the last ten years. Reading has changed fundamentally, with so many of us doing so much of it on screens--reading texts, tweets and other social media posts, snippets of articles, all of it mixed with photos and videos. 

For me, there is still a fundamental pleasure in unplugging. In taking a print book on a train or plane, or in settling on my back porch with a magazine or a paperback. I do spend hours each day reading on screens. And then I indulge in my not-at-all-guilty pleasure: grabbing a book and sitting for an hour on the porch, stopping now and then to smell the pine needles, watch the play of light on leaves, listen to the birds or the cicadas. Then I plunge back into the book (its pages so blissfully free of pop-up ads and autoplay videos) and re-engage with the story. 

The ways in which we produce and transmit stories and compensate their authors have changed through the centuries. There may come a day when all my reading is done on the screen or by audio. And still at the heart of the experience will be the best part, the part that hasn't changed for most of human history, even as technology has changed: our love of story, our need to communicate.

No comments:

Post a Comment