Reading

‘Steve Jobs: “People Don’t Read Anymore.”‘

The above was a response to a search for “Do people read?” a search based on my belief that fewer people read books. The first set of responses I got were that reading has increased astronomically from 1945 until now that appeared among headers about self publishing reminding me of a disagreement with a friend about to publish a book last year who was adamant that he knows a lot of people who read. I argued that I was basing my opinion that fewer people are reading on my experience at University of Toronto libraries. When I was a student I always had to line up to check out books: today I never see anyone checking out books at any time of year, even at the automated book checkout machines.

For some years  I’ve seen few individuals at the numerous reading/study carrels on any floor of the multi-floored stacks while the main floor computers always seemed occupied.

From a personal perspective I’ve come to believe that the only reason to read is the desire to know something, despite those big posters with athletes grinning books in hand implying that even non academics read because reading’s fun. I recall a teacher saying that what we study or read should offer an answer to a question that a reader or student might bring to their studies or to the books they are reading.

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