Reading: a thing of the past?

The modern day world is filled with technology that gives readers access to books, magazines, and newspapers all over an electronic interface. 

Many of you have probably heard of the Kindle, iPad, and the Nook, because lets be honest, who hasn't?  Yet, these devices are most likely not going to encourage people to read more. 

At first glance, it might seem cool to read on the Nook or the Kindle.  You might look quite dapper toting around with your chic new technology but the effect wears off within an hour of use as you realize that reading an eBook or regular book, is still just reading. Shiny compact glass isn't going to suddenly turn you into a "reader".   

eBooks aren't an efficient way to promote reading in the younger generation, in fact it will probably lessen the amount of reading kids do in the future.  From an early age reading is considered something we have to do, even a synonym for schoolwork.  Other technologies, like video games or television, are more alluring to kids because they offer a break from school related activity. 

According to a BusinessWeek's website, the average child spends almost eight hours a day using electronic media devices.  A Kindle would fall into that category, but I'll give you one guess as to what that kid's favorite piece of technology ISN'T.

If kids are already using electronics this much, why give them another option?  While some say the Nook, iPad, and Kindle are great reading devices; the user also has access to the Internet, games, and music.

While this versatility was meant as an educational benefit, it actually backfired. "With all the different options people are more likely to get distracted," said James O'Sullivan, a freshman student at SMC. 

If kids grow up reading like this, who knows how much reading they will actually be doing.  It probably won't be good if kids grow up learning how to read from websites like Facebook and Twitter.

Even though the Kindle and the older version of Nook use E Ink technology, which is apparently comparable to reading from a piece of paper, the iPad and the newer version of the Nook have a full color screen. 

I can't be alone in thinking that reading on a computer screen results in headaches and boredom.  Since we are forced to interact with computers and read from computer screens on a regular basis, it seems frustrating to subject yourself to even more retinal abuse when you decide you want to read something for pleasure.  Doesn't that destroy the idea of "pleasure" in the first place?

For all of us who believed the tangible book might disappear, I think we're safe for a little while longer. Keep in mind that it's a lot harder to destroy a tangible book than it is an electronic one.