Books are here to stay

By Sonia Khudanpur

Today, the idea of reading and thinking frightens some youngsters. The very thought of going through newspapers, reading educative magazines, books and journals is detestable. The growing influence of technological devices like television, mobile phones and the internet have changed the manner in which the present generation approaches information on paper.

Advanced forms of the media create an imagined sense of being well-informed and this prevents the viewer or user from trying to delve deeper into any subject. Sole dependence on these media makes the user lose out on information that may contribute to his/her understanding of the world. However, their preference is not entirely their fault. The education system of which the present generation and I am a part, are partially responsible for this attitude towards reading and books. Can it then be said that the influence of these media will result in the extinction of books in the near future?

Our education system depended solely on books to impart knowledge. Less attention was given to practical use of that knowledge. This lack of applying knowledge in our daily lives resulted in loss of interest in reading further. Books were associated with studying to get good marks in the exam. Gradually, children moved away from books as they grew older.

The purpose of reading is to immerse oneself in the information or story and then use ones imagination to form ideas and opinions, experience emotions and learn. The magic about books is that they are of all kinds and you get to choose and keep the ones you like. Unlike the internet, books allow you to keep what you like safely and refer to it without having to switch on a computer. They are also easy on your eyes. The light and radiation from electronic gadgets is painful for the eyes and requires careful handling. A book on the other hand can be read on your favourite couch.

It is true that with gadgets like the Ipad for browsing through books, articles, stories etc., people are beginning to think that the era of books may come to an end in the future.

This may happen. CDs wiped out cassettes and Ipods wiped out the walkman, but our beloved books will stay around longer. This is not because tools like the Ipad and Samsung Tablet are ineffective. The only reason for this, fortunately, is that most of this country does not have enough money to buy food, let alone buy computers and fancy gadgets. So, till the people of this country get to that stage, it is safe to say that are paper friends are here to stay.

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