Reading for pleasure. We all know what that means, when we have the time in our daily lives to read. Sometimes, stuff gets in the way like work, school, the new coffee shop round the corner everyone is dying to get in to. We, as growing humans, simply don't have the time to read anything other than bills, essays, letters and whatnot. Even that corny slogan on the side of a bus cheers us up because it's not something we're used to seeing day in, day out. I once read a really clever advertisement whilst waiting for a bus, it was an advertisement for erasable pens. "Charlie + Amy = 4ever" or how the kids lingo goes these days, and it had started to erase the name Charlie and I thought to myself-"if I have the time to read that cheesy but clever advertisement in my spare time, why don't I have the time to simply pick up a classic book and get on with reading?"
That's the problem. As an evolving generation with this technology to read summaries of classic literature on the internet, we don't have the mental capacity to sit, and read a book. to smell the new paper of a freshly printed book, or to metaphorically "smell" the ageing of a small novel that's been in your family for generations. It really brings a tear to my eye when I see younger generations sat on their phones not talking to each other and continuously absorbing the internet nonsense that must make some sort of sense in their heads. I don't understand what is better than learning new things that have been around for centuries, just on paper, than staring at an electronic screen that has to be 'charged' every 6 hours that has only been around for 20-30 years at the most.
Pros and cons of a hard backed book? Let's start with the pros.
- The excitement of getting to turn a page and find out what happens to that character you have major feels for.
- Knowing that you don't have to wait 2-3 years for another film in the series to come out because it's already been written, and it's easy enough to dash off to the library or closest bookstore and get the fix of the next book.
- Character development. Because you desperately need to know why they said that specific phrase in reference to another character. What's going on? Is there a feud? Secret message? I need to know!
- The gentle scraping noise you hear when you turn a page is just lush. I personally feel like I've achieved something there, I've read this page now I get to find out what's printed on the other side.
- ...yet, the sadness comes when you turn the last page of a book and you're sat there just debating whether to pick up a new one to fill the hole in your heart of the character that's just died, or let it sink in and mentally prepare yourself for whichever book you read next.
What about the cons of reading a book?
- Mistakes do happen, it's inevitable that you're going to spill water (in the best scenario) or coffee (*panic mode*) on your favourite novel. We have to accept that as flawed humans, we are going to be a little clumsy sometimes and stain those flawless pages.
- If you don't have access to a library, some pieces of literature are pricey. Usually, I find that new books are pricey since obviously, it's a new object to put on the market. But as time goes, the price drops. Don't worry about not having the exact time to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows right now. The final installment of the teen fiction was published in 2007, and the price then was easily £9-15 depending on where you bought it. Now? You can find it for £5-7 at any bookstore, since in the stock markets, it's lost it's value. It will never lose value as long as you enjoy it.
Looking back on it, there are way too many pros that outweigh the cons of owning a hardback novel. Even the cons have solutions! There's simply nothing wrong with books whatsoever.*
Back to the point. Tablets, iPhones, iPods, smart phones, laptops...there are too many pieces of technology today to be staring at for hours on end and scientifically it's definitely not good for your back, posture, eyes and brain. You might be saying "yes but you learn things from technology too" I know this, and God knows what we as students would do without Wikipedia and google itself. The problem is is that too many teenagers are relying on technology and not enjoying the wonders of a good reading session.
It improves your vocabulary, widens your imagination and opens the possibility of endless opportunities. For some university English Literature courses it requires that you read a certain novel, novella, poem or play and if you've already delved deep into the void of imagination in the world the writer creates, you stand a better chance of developing your understanding further and getting that small boost of confidence before you've even started.
Evaluating myself I can say this- put down your phone, and pick up a book! You never know which world you are going to enter next.
*unless it's 50 shades. Then there's everything wrong with it.