Our fast-paced lifestyles, combined with the rise of the internet, have challenged the very existence of paper books. Here we examine a fundamental question: are books important in our frenetic, modern society, or have they become largely obsolete?
Definition of a Book
A book is a paper-based container for words. The words are printed on separate sheets of paper within the book. These are known as pages (not to be confused with web or blog pages).
The act of looking at a book and absorbing the printed information is known as reading.
History of Books
Before the invention of the internet, many people used books to obtain information. Before the invention of television, some people even looked at books purely for fun.
Book Content Providers
Fifty years ago, people could read very complicated books written by professional content providers (known as authors, writers or scribes) such as Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky and Marcel Proust.
Unlike today, some of these authors and writers were paid a decent wage to create books (as well as shorter books, known as articles, which appeared in slimmer books called magazines or newspapers).
Books Vs Internet
Today, people use books as household decorations, placing them on shelves because they look old and pretty. They are rarely opened.
Words are now absorbed through the internet. People absorb words on the internet using a process known as skimming.
Skimming is much more efficient than reading. Typically, skimmers prefer lists:
- Lists are easy to read
- Lists are fun
- Lists create space on the screen
- Space is good
- We don’t get confused
If a list is not appropriate, skimmers prefer to read sentences that have space between them. If the words are all bunched up together — like they are in books — skimmers become confused.
Where to Find Books
You can find books in libraries. Libraries are like museums for books. Nowadays, the only people that go to libraries are aging historians, witches and serial killers.
Are Books Important or Obsolete?
Books have become very unpopular because they contain too many words. Internet skimmers prefer an average of 350 words per page (definitely no more than 600 words).
Many books contain thousands and thousands of words, maybe even millions. What’s more, many books don’t even have pictures!
Reading a book requires a great commitment of time and attention. Understandably, books have become largely obsolete. Therefore, books are no longer important.
Are books important today or have they become obsolete? Share your opinion in the comments box below.