Week 16 Prompt

For me, reading has always been a special activity. As a kid, my relationship to books was mostly just that I devoured them and was constantly looking for new worlds to explore. Today, that element is the same, but I've gained an appreciation and knowledge of how those books come into the world and how the world views them. I love the ability to grab a book at the drop of a hat on my phone or iPad, but that's never going to replace the wish to read that book in print or to own print copies of my favorites (...or multiple copies). Books have only become more special to me as time has gone on, and those worlds I fell in love with as a kid will always be some of the most special.

The world of reading and books feels as if it's gotten both smaller and larger at the same time. It feels like maybe the readers are fewer, but the number of books and the ways to access them are so much more. I loved how Ursula K. LeGuin put the perspective on reading, though, and recognized that a decline in reading is not necessarily the "death" of books--as so many people like to decry the moment book sales drop even the smallest fraction.

I like LeGuin's perspective, that reading doesn't have to be for everyone--like any other pastime. There are those of us who love it and love to share that with others, and while I think people who don't read are missing out, that doesn't mean the printed word is going to die. I mean, I don't see the hype around most sports, but just because I don't watch them doesn't spell their death, yeah? And there will always be writers who feel that it's their life's purpose to write; they're always going to create stories and put them out there for the world. How that consumption changes could be any number of ways. However, the printed book has been around for a long time and I think it would take a long time for it to die out as well.


  1. Hi, Rachel. I appreciated how you mentioned that you "love the ability to grab a book at the drop of a hat on (your) phone or iPad" even though I never do that. I have been known to put down my magazine or pause the TV because of something that just reminded me of a great book and I'll grab my iPad to order it on Amazon or ebay...but I always get the print version! And you said you prefer that format as well!

    I agree that people tend to be all "gloom and doom" about, oh, EVERYTHING. I feel like things are cyclical and the key is to ride out the downturn. If there even is a downturn...? I look at social media (especially book sites like LIbraryThing and Goodreads) and I think reading is going to be just fine for the foreseeable future!

    Where you mention that "the printed book has been around for a long time", I have to tell you about this great sweatshirt I have. It reads, "BOOKS: Helping introverts avoid conversation since 1454". It's a great companion to my other favorite sweatshirt that reads, "Some of my best friends are fictional".

    Gotta love books. It's been great studying with folks for these past 2 1/2 years who feel the way I do about them! Take care and best wishes to you!

  2. Hey Rachel! Yes, the book world has become so much larger! With people being able to publish their own books and promote them on their own on the internet, along with the infinite amount of publishing houses, the vast array of books to be read is overwhelming to comprehend. It's hard to think that reading is waning when so many books are being published and so many people want to be authors! Although I'm dubious that my daughter's generation and the generations beyond that will appreciate the written word as much, I'm optimistic that there will always be READERS like myself and probably everyone else in this class. Have a great summer and an amazing future!


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