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From Tree Trunk to Computer Byte

On Reading — With the advent of the Internet revolution, are we reading the in the same way? Will the very concept of reading change?

Category: Cultura | 25 May, 2012
Editor: Daniel Vidal Hussey

Let’s say you have just met someone. You both chat for a while and they tell you they like reading. Your mind fires up straight away the stereotypical image of someone sitting on the underground reading “The Pillars of the Earth —never paperback, always hardback— or lying in bed taking in page after page until they fall asleep.Then you ask them what their favourite author is, but they say they haven’t got one and that they prefer to read stuff of the Internet. Now what? Does a look of surprise draw itself on your face? Or do you simply smile and say that you do too?

We shouldn’t really be surprised. Some people think that the reading revolution is done and dusted by simply moving over to electronic books, neatly tucked away in our Kindles or iPads, but I think there’s still more ground to cover. Thanks to the Internet, we have an enormous amount of texts to read: personal blogs, online magazines (like the one you are reading now!), web sites specialising in technology, fashion, cars or any other topic you can think of as trivial as it may be.And that’s not counting all the newspapers and magazines that have found their place on the Internet.

You probably read at least one of the types of text I’ve mentioned, don’t you? It wouldn’t surprise me either if you told me that you spend more time reading content on the Internet than reading novels. Even so, most of what we read on the Internet is not considered proper reading.

There isn’t really a radical change happening. We are simply seeing a change in our standard genres: there are now novels written on Twitter (more than one), the thoughts that won’t let you sleep night after night now appear in blog entries and even recipe books that are a must for every kitchen are now complemented by a YouTube video recorded by the creator of the dish showing you exactly how to get it looking perfect. In between all these new texts appearing on the web, perhaps the most interesting consideration are the authors. Many people who previously only read have now got into writing, but we’d better leave this topic for another day and another article.

In short, we no longer read the same texts we used to, new genres and new ways to deliver content are constantly being created. Yet however much all the elements that take part in the act of reading may change, the very act is still here among us in the digital age. So let’s go on doing what we always have done: read.

Category: Cultura | 25 May, 2012
Editor: Daniel Vidal Hussey
Tags:  blog, ebook, Internet, ipad, Ken follet, kindle, online, reading, the pillars of the earth,




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