Farewell Books?

Connor Lyons By Connor Lyons, 24th Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

The world is quickly changing. No longer do we need to sit in one place to fill our minds with the creativity of someone else’s, we’ve got audio-books for that now! But is that wholly good for us? Especially today’s youth?

Books and audio-books

I love audio-books. They give me the ability to listen to books wherever I am and whatever I’m doing. The ability to remain productive while listening to a long await book is like a dream come true. Now the library clutter is confined to my hard drive, instead of the bookshelf, (sort of.) Problematic children who were a pain to make read a book might conceivably start listening to the classical wonders of Shakespeare or Dickens. I doubt it, but who knows?

But does it take away from family bonding time? No longer will the family sit in a cozy room, children playing quietly on the floor with the dog, while mom and dad read a book, or maybe a family reading time where dad reads aloud to the quietly attentive children, or maybe even everyone sitting in a room and reading?

We’ll also miss a lot of the fun of books when we only listen. No longer do we read the words—the scene slowing being painted before our mind’s eye. Instead we hear of this while worrying about traffic, or making sure that the task at hand is completed to its fullest. Our minds are no longer as focused on the story as they would be as we read small black letters on a white page.

It may also be feeding our ADHD. We can no longer bring ourselves to sit quietly in an armchair as Holmes describes for us step-by-step his methods for how he brought the case to a close—it’s too boring, and we’d rather being doing two-to-three things at once.

So why should we care?

Maybe we shouldn’t. But I personally believe that reading is important. Actually sitting down to a book and reading it helps stimulate the brain, it helps calm and relax you, forcing you to take your mind off of the worries of the day, and focus a world completely unrelated to yours.

Family time is important too, and parents should be setting the example of calm. Sitting down with your tablet device just doesn’t send the same message—even if you’re reading a book off of it—as having a physical novel in your hand. Plus there are the distractions on that glowing shiny thing. You need a pleasurable distraction that will rejuvenate you, and mentally stimulate you, (the next morning perhaps, you might fall asleep tonight.)

Children in today’s society are a lot different than the quiet well behaved children of our parent’s age, and there are a lot of factors going into making them into what they are today. Parents though have to set the example for their children in all things they do—it’s part of their long list of responsibilities. Thankfully this is part of the job is such an easy, pleasurable, and beneficial one to all involved.

With a book, you’ll seem far more approachable to a family member, than you would with earbuds in your ears, and something else in your hands, you’ll be resting—an important thing in a busy life, you’ll be setting an example of respectable, quiet calm for the children—they desperately need this.

If setting the example doesn’t make the children read, then try bribery. A sticky, MP3, or other cheap but desired tangible thing will help them work towards reading, which in turn will promote a greater imagination, calm, attention-span, greater vocabulary, understanding of how words and sentences are put together, and even spelling. The list goes on, but I don’t want to bore you.

There are certainly some cons too, but not many, and I don’t for a moment believe they outweigh the pros.

Just to be clear—I am not advocating for a mass boycott of audio-books. I love them, and listen to them frequently. But I have made sure to also have a physical book on-hand to read for the very reasons I’ve stated above, and after reading this I hope you will too.


Advice, Children, Family, Reading Books

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author avatar Connor Lyons
I'm greatly interested in writing, life, the military and education!

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