Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Is Reading Dying?

Yahoo news has posted a revealing article about reading habits in the U.S.

It's probably much worse here in the Philippines.

Here's a quote from the article that echoes what someone here also said to me some months ago:
"I just get sleepy when I read," said Richard Bustos of Dallas, a habit with which millions of Americans can doubtless identify.
And here's another quote:
"Fiction just doesn't interest me," said Bob Ryan, 41, who works for a construction company in Guntersville, Ala. "If I'm going to get a story, I'll get a movie."
Perhaps that's it. Reading as a form of storytelling has been overtaken by other forms (film and video, to name them, and perhaps soon interactive versions of the same via computers).

In America, the mail carriers of the Pony Express lost their jobs and became a footnote in history when the railroad was built during the Wild Wild West. Years later, the trains had to go through tough economic times and had to rebrand themselves to survive when long distance buses started plying their routes. The buses lost a lot of business when sales of cars reached commercial levels and air travel...er...took off. Though the trains and buses are still there, they're not what they once were because of cars and planes.

It's not a perfect analogy. Reading isn't the same as horses, trains, buses, or cars. But sometimes it sure feels like Reading is going the way of the Pony Express, slowly being replaced by film. Nothing against film; it's a wonderful medium for telling a story. It's just sad that another medium has to fall by the wayside. Perhaps that's just evolution at work.

Nevertheless, it's sad, and I felt pretty bad after reading the Yahoo article this morning. Argh. What a frickin' way to start the day.

1 Comments:

Blogger Charles said...

Have you read CNN's reading habits poll?

5:56 PM  

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