Recently, while travelling in a public bus, I found most heads looking down at their palm-fitted gadgets – something which isn’t unusual. But what is unusual is that most were reading online books, while few of were engrossed in watching series or scrolling social media feed. It kept me thinking about how the concept of reading has changed over time.
From carrying newspapers while traveling to downloading PDFs beforehand, the practice of reading has evolved with Countless publications available in the digital library! So, if you consider yourself a bookworm, buckle up your seats because this is your time to sail in the digital world.
The Evolution –
If you observe vividly, earlier reading was restricted to a few. Though even today, there is still a huge section of the population who does not get access to reading but at least the picture of ‘reading is only for royals’ has changed. Not only this, but the way people read has also changed, and digitalization has a role to play in it.
But like everything else, evolution has its both positive and negative sides. Let’s check out what are the pros and cons of the same –
The Bright Side –
Ease of access
Ease of access to reading materials is the most obvious advantage of the evolution. Though nothing can replace the smell of books but carrying a kindle is much easier than carrying several books. Besides, if you are a digital reader, then you have connectivity to the world’s largest library, the internet. You can find academic articles and classic novels very conveniently over the internet and can download them very easily. The avid readers around consider this to be a blessing.
Has changed the scenario of education
With a plethora of documents, scholarly papers, and articles available at their fingertips, it has become easier for instructors to deliver their insights. Besides, students also get an opportunity of reading these materials constantly at any point in time. This helps the students in two ways – it develops a habit of reading and increases their IQ bandwidth.
News reaches in minutes
Earlier, newspapers were the only way to get updates on the latest news. But it was not immediate. It is delayed by several hours. Then came television and radios – something that everybody could not afford the same. Hence, newspapers were an affordable and sufficient option for the wide range of the population. But now, people do not have to wait long with e-papers available. These e-papers deliver the latest news in no time, and the icing on the cake is that they can be accessed at any time from any place. To be honest, in the history of mankind, information was never so easy to access.
Has made reading economical
As I mentioned earlier, there was a time when reading was considered only for the royals because everybody could not afford to buy books. With passing time, the scenario kept changing, but still, a huge section of the population was deprived of the practice of reading for the same reason. But digitalization made sure to bring reading materials to every house’s threshold. Now just with access to a mobile phone and internet connectivity, anybody can keep reading. It is more like a one-time investment and non-stop results.
The gloomy side –
Lack of touch
It is said that reading is a multi-sensory experience. If you ask the bookworms, they will tell you that there is no better feeling than getting to touch that rough texture of the pages and getting that smell of new books while reading. But today’s kids are very less likely to experience the same. Why will they spend a fortune buying books when they are getting access to an infinite number of sources over the internet.
Online reading can be distracting
While you are reading online, you have to navigate from one page to another. And unfortunately, here, navigation is not always as swift as turning over the page. Also, often online articles and documents have a lot of hyperlinks. All these together can result in the distraction of the readers.
Reading on a digital device can be stressful
Those who are making it a practice of reading from digital devices will know that it can be a huge stress to your eyes. Digital readers say that constantly staring at the bright screen gives them headaches and irritates their eyes. At the same time, long hours of reading books never cause any such problems.
Winding it up
No doubt that digitalization has made reading more accessible and easier, but honestly, there is no feeling like holding a book in your hands and reading it. No kindle, no apps can replace it. But then again, things are supposed to change with time and development, and so has happened with reading. Thanks to digitalization, the city dwellers and the kids of rural, remote areas are getting access to world-class books, articles, and other reading materials. Knowledge is important, and reading is the best way to gain some. By the grace of digitalization, fortunes have taken a better turn for many. Also, in today’s world, where we all are running in the rat race, digitalization is helping us take some time out for reading.
About the Author
Amanda Joseph is currently working as a guest lecturer in one of the renowned colleges in the USA. She is a part of the core essay writer team of Allessaywriter.com. Besides teaching, she has a passion for cooking and baking.