Even With The Internet, Books Are Still Prefered

“No, the Internet Has Not Killed the Printed Book. Most People Still Prefer Them,” Daniel Victor of the New York Times assures us in the title of his latest. And also invites us to ponder whether the slip in grammar might not indicate that the Internet has killed or made moribund something else: literacy. Citing a Pew Research study, he writes:

“Books line the walls on at Common Grounds, in DeKalb, Ill., in August.” Image for The New York Times by Katie Smith/Daily Chronicle, via Associated PressSixty-five percent of adults in the United States said they had read a printed book in the past year, the same percentage that said so in 2012. When you add in ebooks and audiobooks, the number that said they had read a book in printed or electronic format in the past 12 months rose to 73 percent, compared with 74 percent in 2012.

And adds that:

People are indeed using tablets and smartphones to read books. Thirteen percent of adults in the United States said that they used their cellphones for reading in the past year, up from 5 percent in 2011.

It might also be worthwhile to consider whether the quality in books that are being popularly read has undergone some kind of decline. Are books that are increasingly coming to take from in tablets and smartphones less likely to be smart books? In the hurly-burly of the here and now, it is nice that there remain nooks (no the other kind) and corners, such as The Core, reminding us of the literature that keeps us from being enslaved by the present, and teaches good writing in the meanwhile.


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