Wednesday, 21 January 2009

ring ring

Hello? This is if:book. Can you now read books on your mobile?
Yes you can!
But is the reading habit dying?
Yes it is, according to Naomi Alderman in yesterday's Guardian.
And can we revive it?
Yes we can!

"But perhaps technology can offer solutions as well. One bright spot in my reading life recently has been the Golden Notebook Project in which I and six other women writers read and discussed Doris Lessing's novel over several weeks. The social, collaborative nature of the project encouraged me to stick with a classic which, while it is in many ways astonishing, was occasionally so infuriating that I wanted to hurl it across the room. The future of e-Readers may offer more opportunities for this kind of social reading. Or perhaps the global economic apocalypse will encourage more of us to embrace a simpler philosophy and spend our evenings at home with a good book.

But while I hate to side with the neophobes I can't help feeling a little concerned; as the loss of the ancient Greek oral culture shows, ways of thinking and using our brains can disappear for good. Reading initiatives are generally targeted at children, but I think it's time to start encouraging adults to, as it says on the back of Penguin books, Read More. The Greeks may have replaced their oral traditions with Plato and Aristotle but, though I love computer games, I don't feel that trading the reading culture for Guitar Hero is a fair swap."


No comments: