Tech Dilemma

Are electronic reading devices replacing print?

Are electronic reading devices replacing print?

The world is ever-changing, and the epitome of this change is the growth of the number of books. Whether it’s a mystery, romance, or science fiction, there’s always something ready to embrace. But times are changing, and a growing concern is that technology is replacing the literary world.

People seem to be glued to their phone and tablet screens; they’re texting their friends and downloading the latest apps. Are glowing gadgets replacing the paperbacks that have accompanied us for generations?

It doesn’t seem to make sense how much society has changed. Reading was once a favorite pastime, but it seems as though less and less people can be found with a book in their hands. Francesca Halikias, sophomore, is especially dumbfounded at this sudden shift.

“I read every day, whenever I have the chance and I’m not doing homework or hanging out with friends. I have a million book shelves filled with books I’ve read, and I plan to get more and read all of those too,” Halikias said. “It’s just hard for me to think that there are people out there who haven’t picked up a book in the last year, because I could never do that.”

Halikias and other book lovers used to be the majority of this society but, the more time that goes by, the more it seems that they’re falling back into the minority. Whether it’s school that makes them too tired to pick up a book, or the need to talk to their friends via text, it still seems as though the number of readers is increasingly going down.

“After we take a test, I always look around the classroom and see everybody on their phones,” said Cami Comstock, freshman. “And I hate to say it, but I’m one of those people. My eyes are just so tired from
reading everything on the test that the last thing I want to do is read something else after that.”

Sometimes with the busy schedules and heavy loads of classes students may not resort to books as relaxation. Many students associate books more and more with school, not reading unless for an English assignment. Parent of a fourth grader and a sophomore, Mughda Deo, believes that technology is not only a concern, but a distraction.

“Yes, children do prefer phones over reading. It is becoming a bigger distraction. I try to use technology to my children’s benefit. I encourage [my fourth grader] to go on education sites,” Deo said.

Although it looks like less and less people are picking up books, Kerrin Riley, Hinsdale Central’s library director, says otherwise.

“I don’t believe that [the number of readers is declining]. Based on our circulation stats, it’s rising,” Riley said. “I think people still crave, and I think it’s in our history as human beings to crave the story, a story of some sort. A story helps you connect with the past, it helps you know you’re not alone, that other people have walked your journey. I think people have a good connection with that.”

So, maybe things are not all as they appear to be.  A book is said to transport a person physically into the story, the perfect escape from the busy life of school, an escape not always possible on a lit screen.