What Happened to Reading for Fun?

The 21st century is full of technology to keep us busy. You can relax while watching a movie on Netflix or scroll through Twitter to easily pass the ongoing hours of the day. It’s rare to see someone just lounging around with a book in hand. Paperbacks have gone by the wayside only to be upstaged by the glow of a small screen.

As a child however, everyone used to read all the time, at least I did. It was really the only form of entertainment when you had just one television and one computer in the house, and your older siblings and parents always got first priority.

So books were really the best form of entertainment for our generation when we were kids. I guess I stopped reading when I got my first iPhone in freshman year of high school. Who needed books when you could have games and social media and could be in contact with your friends 24/7? It was this whole new world that had opened up, and every teenager wanted to explore it immediately. Everything was at your fingertips and it was this amazing new technological masterpiece.

Books were just paper and ink, so many people lost interest when iPhones came out because they had so many great features that could capture and keep your attention for hours on end. It only got worse when new iPhones kept coming out and even different kinds of smart phones. Each one better than the last with even more gadgets and gizmos.

Books aren’t something people choose to do for fun now; it’s either for an assignment or they don’t read at all. People think reading is pointless when any good book that would interest readers is made into a movie the very next month. Why take the effort to read a 400 page book when there is a two hour long movie at your disposal? I get why that is intriguing to people, it takes less time and you basically get the same experience. But that is where people are wrong.

Reading a book is so much different from just watching the movie. You don’t get the full experience from watching the movie. There is no description or imagination, you don’t get to picture the characters how you want in your head because on the screen they already do that for you. It’s not as enjoyable to me. I love how descriptive the books get: you feel like you are in the actual mindset of the main character and are traveling around with them on all their adventures. You truly get to immerse yourself in their life and feel as if you are a part of the story.

With a movie it’s not the same feeling; you are simply a spectator, you don’t get that feeling of belonging when watching a movie. After I finish reading a book I truly feel sad because I just spent a week of my life dedicated to a book and getting to know the characters and start to think how they would and understand their whole lives as if I were a part of it. It’s unlike anything else because it makes you think about new perspectives that the author gives you, and use your imagination to picture the scene and interpret the story for what you believe it means and relate it to your own life and experiences.

It truly is a wonderful practice that is sadly becoming lost in the age of technology.