I recently read an article detailing the decrease in the number of books read by the average American adult but rather than finding this something to be sad about in some ways there were a few positives to it.
I myself am a rather avid reader as I was fortunate to grow up with a family that made weekly trips to the local library to stock up on books and all of us loved to lose ourselves between the covers of a good book. Most of my friends were the same as me and read prodigiously.
The great thing about reading at such an early age is that there’s an entire world of literature out there waiting for you, from the great classics to modern day literature. Most of all it gave me a good boost at school as I would read anything and everything I could get my hands on which helped me become a rather wordy person later on in my life.
As time went by though most of my friends started reading less and less as their lives grew more cluttered with the trials and tribulations of adulthood. I as more fortunate though as I managed to squeeze in the odd book during my university days and even as I entered the cubicle farms that would dominate my early career.
Recently after moving to Japan I became a bit nostalgic for the days in my youth when I would read my way through a book from start to finish in the space of a day. Luckily the stars seemed to align for me as Amazon decided to release their popular Kindle e-reader which I ordered and slowly started to fill with title after title.
Since then I haven’t really looked back and I’ve found myself going through 20 ~ 30 books per year in the last two or so years which is a huge upswing in my reading habits.
Which all leads me to think that our way of reading is what is changing rather than than quantity. Many young people today are probably reading nor more nor no less than the previous generation or two.
The printed word will always remain the best way to experience the worlds that books present in my opinion but at the same time I am more than happy that people will find new and interesting ways to experience literature. I can only hope that one day in the future if I have children I can instill in them the same love for reading that I had as a child.