Sunday, October 7, 2007

What is the future of books?

As with all our blogs we really want to bring you some topics we hope you can empathize with. I hope this will be one, because I would really like to get some views from you on this topic. Well here goes.

For the past few years I’ve noticed a decline in the amount of new readers I see in the bookstore aisles. What alarms me is the fact I see very few younger readers and when I do they seem to congregate at the Manga shelf. I’m not knocking Manga because the way I see any reading is better than no reading at all. Even my own daughter to my shame does not read unless she is forced to—usually by gunpoint.

Books are only around to this day because there has been a renewable source of people wanting to read them. With this newer generation, I’m finding a reluctance to stretch their minds and let their imagination paint a new world for them to discover. I’ve heard, I’d rather watch the movie than read the book so many times I want to scream. Harry Potter aside I haven’t seen children get excited over a book in years. Growing up, I couldn’t wait for the new Hardy Boys book to come out. I loved solving the mystery before they did. As I grew older my worlds expanded to Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Romance. Nothing was sacred when I wanted some to while away a few hours.

What I’m getting at is where is the world going to? If our children, our future, don’t have anything to spark their creative juices, where will we find the next Gene Rodenberry, the next Stephen King or any author that makes us think, cry or fall in love with something bigger than ourselves. Most of our scientific advances have come from people who read H.G. Wells and said to themselves we can do that. Hell, the cell phone in your pocket is a product of Star Trek. I’m still waiting with baited breath for my lightsaber btw.

If books are becoming a thing of the past, what will take their place? Call me crazy but my money’s on Video Games. Don’t give me that look. I’m serious. If you’ve ever sat down and played a modern video game you’d know they have highly developed story lines, amazing graphics, and as much as I hate admit it, force our children to reason out decisions to achieve their goal. The downside is they might have to kill a hooker or two to do it. But, the point is with our children turning away from reading as a source of entertainment, video games are in my opinion the future of books.

Scary thought. One day instead of reading the new Kenyon book, you might be forced to pick up a joystick and play it out on the PS300. I might be going off my rocker but I can’t see any other conclusion to the trend we as a race are following. We have evolved past words to become a visually based form of sentient life form.

We’ve come full circle don’t you think? Our ancient ancestors expressed themselves with pictures painted on cave walls. Now, our children are expressing themselves with pictures on a 52” flatscreen.

So the question is, are you ready for a future without a book in your hands?

I’m not. My eyes go buggy if I play Resident Evil for longer than 3 hours, then again they do it after 3 hours of reading. Maybe I’m just old, but don’t quote me on that.




Savannah Chase said...

I agree with you, it is sad how much readership has gone down..Not too long ago there was a story on the radio and they did a survey..80% of people had not read a single book in the last year.

That is just crazy...

I can't imagine a world with no books. I love to read and write and I hope that it never comes to the point where books are gone.

It's sad that a lot of people avoid books and spend their time on things that waste it...

Tess MacKall said...

It's sad, but true. The kids today just don't seem to care about holding a book in their hands. My own 11 year old is a video game nut. However, he does love to read. I find him on the computer constantly reading different things, mostly about video games...LOL...but at least reading. Maybe it's a sign of what is in store for online publishing. If an online publisher opened for kids of the "video generation" maybe...just maybe they would read online. I'm all for that! (But for me...I'm an old gal...I will always need a book in my hand!)

Morgan2x said...

I know what you mean Tess. I always have a book nearby. They're like credit cards to me. Never leave home without one

Jenna Leigh said...

I'm the other parent of the heathen non-reader, let me say that there's no easy answer as to why kid's don't like to read. I read to Teen Mean every night when she was a child. She can still remember me doing the Elmo voice and though she'd kill me for saying this, she's made me do it recently. *snickers*

I wonder what sort of world it'll be without books, or more importantly without readers. I hope I'm not here to see it happen. Levar Burton, have you gone over the Reading Rainbow? Come back!

Note to JMo aka Jethro the Redneck Jedi, you already have two light sabers, how many more do you need?

Morgan2x said...

I need one that really works. Then Jethro the Redneck Jedi can become Darth Jethro, Dark Lord of the Sticks.

Whoosh, whoosh.

Morgan O'Reilly said...

Does he make the woo woo sounds when playing with his light sabers??

rosazamot said...

I agree that teens don't read as much as we did as kids. I am finding myself encouraging my sons to read. I know that if I keep it up he will continue on. I myself am a bigggg reader, I was born with a book in hand. It seems to be catching on...with my babies.

I pray that the written word doesn't die out. Reading PDF is ok but I love paper, heck even if they printed it on recycled I would love it.

I think if the tech-generation don't regress a little we are gonna lose a century of learning, and free thinkers.

Think about this...take away the cells, the computers, and all that technological crap (xnay on the computer I typing on, LOL) and all those teens would have to learn to communicate, heck even adults. Then we might have the next Plato, Shakespeare, we as a generation are turning reading into a lost art, period.


blessedheart said...

I could not live without books. They are literally my salvation and my means of escape from a world that can sometimes be overwhelming.

Rhonda :-)

Valerie said...


I couldn't live without books. We have thousands of books all over the house. My kids are pretty much all readers. My older kids come over to borrow books...which reminds son took my new Terry Prachett before I got a chance to read it!!!

My daughter is right now going through Terry Goodkind's saga and she pre-ordered the new one for me, which will end up on my shelf. She's also read a lot of the romance and paranormals on my shelf too.

While I travel on the train to work and back, I see many people with a book in their hand. Young and old, and this inpsires me. Is it because I live in Europe, are the Europeans more interested in reading? I recently saw a Kenyon in German in the shops...she's getting popular here too.


Jenna Leigh said...

Morgan2x--But.. but I don't wish for your pwitty widdle face to be all scarred. And.. and, I like that whole you havin' legs thing. And.. this one is most importantay. I LIKE BEING ALIVE, YOU CRAZY GIT! Darth's woman died, remember? *coughs*
Like this I would not.

Morgan O'Reilly--Um.. well, his sabers (he has two) used make that 'wawwwmm wawmm'noise, but now that the batteries have gone dead, yeah, he does his own sound effects. *snickers*

PS: Spock rules, Darth drools. Live long and prosper yall.

J. Morgan said...

The only one I see drooling is YOU when Spock is on the TV. So keep your feeble comments about Star Wars to yourself, you heathen, before I go buy batteries and then we will see who is really the master and who is the padawan in this house.