The Changing World of Readers

reading david bergen's age of hope at the ball game“The connectivity of the digital world will be fatal to the serious novel.” That was just one of the startling  points of view in an article about reading by Julian Baggini in last Sunday’s Financial Times.  Here are some other ideas in the Baggini piece that really had me thinking. 

grandma gets help with the i pad“In 2010 hardly anyone in North America had an e-reader or a tablet. Now half the population does.”

“One in four consumer titles bought in 2013 was an e-book.”

man reading kindle in hammockReading on an e- reader promotes ‘deep reading’, where you actually become immersed in the text. People read more slowly on screens than on paper. Since it is not so easy to flip around in an e- book you tend to read the text in order, the way the author organized it. 

dave readingReading on a computer can help with comprehension. You look things  up you don’t understand. 


Some studies show that people who use e-readers read more. “E-readers are small, light and portable and can be pulled out at odd moments,” like when you are waiting for your friend or the bus to arrive.

teacher reading aloud to teenWhen you are reading on an e-reader from the outside anyway it is impossible to see what you are reading. People thus don’t feel forced to read things they aren’t really interested in to maintain a certain public image. They can read what they are curious about, so they read more. 

girl reading on the couch 1963The preference you have for one reading device/method over another is cultural and personal. Some people may continue to enjoy using traditional print books because that’s what they are used to and grew up with. Habit, fashion and culture shape our preferences for certain reading methods. 

Other posts about reading…..

Great Aunt Marie’s Books

Reading Aloud to Teens

The Future of Books


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Filed under Books, Culture, Education

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