When was the last time that you read a book? Now, I don’t mean a Kindle I mean a real paper based book, you know, the one that is lying around on a shelf somewhere, or hidden in a mystical place called a library or even that thing on your mantelpiece that now has been shaped to look like a piece of art. Since the Kindle has come around and the age of digital screens and digital reading the statistics of people reading a real book has started to decline. According to the Pew Research Center in October 2015, 63% of people have read a printed book in the last 12 months and 27% of people have read an E-book in the last year. However, if you compare it to the statistics of the years before 2015 such as 2011 ( printed brooks 79%, e-books 17%) and 2014 (printed books 76% E-books 26%) the way in which we read a book is starting to change quite dramatically.
i mean you only need to look at people on the London Tube; gone are the days of avoiding books being bashed in your face on a busy train, instead now you have to weave and dodge the many people reading e-books on their Kindle, phones, or in some cases, huge IPad Pros (trust me, this does happen a lot more then you would think!). It is very rare nowadays to come across someone reading a good old fashion paper binded book and when you do you feel like you should nod your head in appreciation their way. I read a lot, I read because I really enjoy it as its a good sense of escapism and also at times, inspiration. I read two books at a time – I always read a paperback and then I always have a different book availbale on my Kindle. There are many reasons as to why i carry two books with me. The first reason is transport – in these modern times commutes are busy and probably in recent years have got even worse in London so for those times you have to catch a tube or a train in rush hour, i will have the book on the Kindle for these times.
I like going to charity shops, mainly to buy books and you can gurantee that I will always come out with one that i have purchased. I enjoy having a paper style book with me at all times at it allows me to have a break from everyday media that our world is drowning us in. I work as an Editor and Motion Graphics Designer. so I am constantly on the computer, so when an opportunity comes along to have a break from the screen I like to take it.
I have noticed in recent months though that reading a real book in modern times comes with its issues, that i am sure that I am not the only person who finds themselves in these situations. So let me share them with you now:
The Book Vs Social Media – You sit down and you finally decide to read the paper back book that you have been desperately wanting to read in ages. You get yourself comfortable, open to the page you need to start off with and then you start reading. Then after about a paragraph you start to find your mind flitter away into your thoughts. What if someone is trying to contact you? I wonder if that email has come through? Has somebody tried to phone me. *check you phone to make sure no-one is doing any of the listed, realise this is not the case* .
You then go back to reading and put your phone somewhere else so it doesnt distract you, then after one page your mind will flitter again and it will start thinking the same thing, or worse it will want a cup of tea.
Ok, tea sorted, back to the reading……mind…starts…to…..flitter….look at clock its only been 5 minutes!! but…. i must check all my notifications again.
I don’t want to admit it, but this is the process that I go through a lot of the time I go to read a paperback book. If it is a book that i am really enjoying then i can last a long time just reading and not checking my phone, but if the book is ok and not that enticing, then it can be a real force to read a book and sometimes (very sadly) i find it more comforting to read a paper book if i have my phone in front of me so i can see if any notifications go of.
Then you have the whole other problem that if it goes off you get distracted and completely forget the book.
The Book vs Finding the Time – Sometimes the hardest part of reading a book in this modern age is trying to find the time to actually Read the actual book. Work, commute, socialising, and everything in between means that sometimes finding the time to sit down and enjoy the words of a book are really difficult.
The Book vs the space – This is another thing that is really important for a person reading a real book – you need space. You cannot just open it up at random points, if you are in a busy area you need to analyse the situation and make sure that you can actually open the book at hand. For example if you are on a bus do you have the space to hold the book and also to hold onto a pole if your standing. etc