Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Is the Book Dead? by Johanna Sorrentino

As an avid book reader, the title of this article caught my eye. I was concerned that what I was about to read would insult and discourage the past time of finding a quite place to curling up with a thick novel.

The article starts off with a statistic by The Pew Internet & American Life Project stating that 93% of teens use the internet. That number didn't surprise me at all. The author, Johanna Sorrentino on the other hand feels that with such a high percentage rate that means that the tactile book is getting less and less attention.

The article continues with critics of both sides; paper books and the digital media. Paper books allows the reader to become one with the book, to really develop their understanding of each characters. Whereas the digital media emphases the speed to which a reader can skim a text.

However, one extremely valid point for digital media is the ability to have research right at your fingertips while reading. If there is a word in a text that a child doesn't understand, most won't go searching out for a meaning. Whereas, digital text allows the reader to leave one article to go and search for an unknown meaning. That ability to have a quick answer allows the reader to continue without missing a beat.

Ultimately, according to the article, electronic media is best because it encourages and entices kids to read more. I mean, isn't that our overall goal anyway? We want a society of readers. Perhaps this digital immigrant needs to get with the program?

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