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Week 16 Prompt: Past, Present, and Future of Books

Reading has definitely changed since I was a child. I remember the first book I read by myself was a glow-in-the-dark book! It was so cool to be able to read the book in a closet at school. I was able to literally go in the coat closet and read my book. That was the coolest and newest thing back before everyone had tablets, mobile phones, or even computers in their home. Today all of those technologies that we rely on have a back light and thus glow, so to speak. I remember reading all the time as a child. My mother read a lot more than she watched television and so did I. We took weekly trips to the library and so did other families in our neighborhood. 

Today it is more rare to see families engaged in reading that way. However, there are new ways to read books other than going to get a hard copy. One can simply download a file to their mobile device and have the book on the go and several others at the same time without carrying the weight of all of those titles. While reading has changed in that aspect many people still value the physical book, such as myself. I do not mind reading on my mobile devices, but I much prefer the physical book to the ebook. I like turning the pages of he book, feeling the weight in my hand, and I am so strange that I even enjoy the way books smell. 

I think that as technology continues to advance we will see new ways to read and interact with books. It is already happening now, but I am convinced that their are enough people in the world like me that physical book will continue to be around and be used by the masses for quite sometime. What exactly will reading look like? I do not know, but it would be amazing if knowledge from books could be just transmitted to our brains in the future. I am not exactly sure how that would work without something being implanted in our brains and I am not sure that I want something implanted in my brain just to keep from having to actively read some books. Although for textbooks this would be a glorious machine. (My evil genius is coming through on this one.) 

What I would really like to see for the future is a culture where there is no team physical book versus ebook, but rather a culture of both forms of the book are valid and can be used in tandem. There is value in not having to carry a ton of textbooks and putting strain on your back. However there is also value in seeing and touching the map of Narnia or Middle-Earth. There is value in going to the library to talk to a readers' advisory librarian about helping you find a book to read. I hope that in the next 20 or 50 or even 100 years that people continue to or begin to realize the value in all of these things. 


  1. I laughed at your thought of "it would be amazing if knowledge from books could be just transmitted to our brains in the future." I was doing the Pottermore questions with my kids the other day to find out which Hogwarts house we would be sorted into. One of the questions was, basically, if you could say a spell that would give you one thing would you pick (a) power, (b) wisdom, (c) love and there was one more I can't remember. I chose wisdom (my thought was that I wouldn't want to receive love artificially - I would want it for real) but afterwards I seriously debated whether or not I would, in fact, be that thrilled with transmitted knowledge without taking the time to read and process it. Fast and easy isn't always better. Unless it's cake - than the faster the better!

  2. Wonderful final response! Full points!


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