Reading Is In Fact a Dying Habit

And here's why.


In this modern age, reading is often considered a dying habit, though the reasons for this are commonly misunderstood. Reading has always been a way to take yourself through a story, though it has always offered more immersion and freedom than for example a play or movie. This simple fact has and always will be true, the real reason for the major decline in reading as a habit is simply accessibility. Today, most videos can be accessed from virtually anywhere for little to no cost, and with tech giants like Google focusing on the design and management of website such as YouTube, reading is simply not as advertised. And this isn't me throwing all of the blame onto the major corporations either, reading simply isn't as easy to advertise, costs more to advertise and sell, causing higher prices, and simply doesn't make as much money. Video entertainment is easy to advertise: show a montage of clips form the video, add some special effects and a short information slide, done. Books on the other hand, while having material to give excerpts from as videos do, are a more free form of entertainment. By this I mean that the primary benefit of reading over watching a movie or a video on YouTube is that everything in the book is visualized in your mind, in your own way. This creates a unique feeling of immersion that other forms of entertainment don't have. However, when a book is read to you by somebody else, you lose this freedom and feeling of immersion, and without as entertaining of a visual aid during an advertisement, such as clips from a video, the advertisement ends up feeling more like a lecture you were forced to listen to. Because of this, it's harder to get the word out about good books, more expensive to sell books, causing higher prices and in turn a lower customer base, and overall inconvenient to find a book through means other than friends recommendations.
Harry Potter Book Trailer

Efficiency and Depth

It is often said that the current generation's attention span is much lower than normal, and is steadily decreasing over the years. Hence limited lengths on things such as twitter posts, instagram videos, and vine videos. Even on YouTube, videos are shorter so that the creator can make more content faster, and in turn a larger fan base and revenue. Since books are often times very long, taking anywhere from an hour to days to cover 300-1200 pages, they have lost their popularity among a low attention span generation. Books aren't necessarily less time efficient as videos, they just demand a larger time commitment for a larger reward, in the form of entertainment value. And there is always more chance for an author to ruin the entire book for you during a single paragraph, rather than the 4-10 minutes of a video where even if the producer does mess up and make the experience unenjoyable, it doesn't last long and there is little loss in the form of time. This act is well known among aspiring authors, and has lead to only small amounts of people being able to produce quality content, content that oftentimes takes more than a year to create and less than a month to consume, as opposed to the equally ludicrous proportionally but seemingly less large ratio of a week to create and 4-5 minutes to consume that is present in videos.