Friday, April 8, 2011

The Reading Experience ?

As a teacher - there is one thing that concerns me with technology and that is the aspect of reading. Whether people do it ? The quality of what they read! Is reading a book the same as a Kindle/ipad ?

But should I worry ? Books seem to be booming. JK Rowling is one of the richest women in Britain - everyone was reading Harry Potter. Best sellers on the New York best sellers list seem to guarantee the author fame and a comfortable income. Personally - I find this good. It indicates people are reading (maybe not my preferred titles )- but at least they are engaging with the written word.
But this is where the ground has shifted. What is the written word ? How long does it have to be ? What is the audience ?
One thing I am sure of - the ground has shifted from my safe perspective of a cozy book in bed on a winters night. Fantasy/ thriller when I want to escape. Autobiographical/ philosophical when I feel like taxing the brain. Magazine/ pictorial when I feel like the artistic, light and visual. But the thing they all have in common - they are paper copy, hold in hand traditional aspects of publishing. Love the smell of a newly printer book (that no one else has touched) - an ipad just doesn't smell the same ! But - things are changing. Anyone under the age of 35 see's the aspect of reading differently - twitter, blogs, Facebook, emails, texts - these are all the main forms of communication for anyone under the age of 30 - they don't know anything else!  I may not like it - but to engage this generation I need to change my thinking. It's only going to change more as time goes on ! Or is it ?
Paper may be replaced with a "digital form" but it seems like it really is just a shift of the medium rather than the content. Granted - there is more of the "one liners" - Twitter (Oscar Wilde and Stephen Fry would love it) - but I think these also will be replaced. Granted , probably by something similar, but this "one line" form of communication has always been around in some form or another. And I think with phone/ personal communication devices, will maintain and grow as a form of communication for the young ("remember when the old farts were on twitter and Facebook - how 2010ish- !!).
But - the conventional content doesn't die in all this ! It just changes. Best selling novels become PDF's or ebooks; magazines and newspapers become RSS or even interactive emags.
I personally buy a number of photographic magazines. Enjoy reading articles, reviews of equipment, tips etc. Recently I saw a digital version of the magazine. Instead of just having the review of the new camera - it had video footage, examples and 3D views of all aspects. Novel - but added another dimension to the information I was given.
Blogging is another form of reading that I have discovered recently. I always thought that blogging was something that 20 year olds did to talk about their great "unique" Thailand holiday or the great night out in town (who really cares except their friends ?).
I hadn't realised that many academics, educators, thinkers etc used Bloggs to share thoughts, information, ideas and communicate research. In fact, a whole range of thoughts and ideas that may not be exposed in the traditional press.
One that I found lately I thought may be of interest to others - regarding the main purpose of this blog - that of publishing. Have a read of it - see what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting comment. I also enjoyed the blog.