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The Act of Reading in America Culture - Essay Example

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Reading was an art that mankind inherited from its forefathers. The very first of the books bought to man were the religious scriptures sacredly held and cherished by our forefathers and running into our family for centuries…
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The Act of Reading in America Culture
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"The Act of Reading in America Culture"

Download file to see previous pages This essay targets the current inclination towards reading that is prevalent in the American society and tries to lookup the reasons behind it. It was not very long ago that the greatest asset of the current generation's grandparents used to be was their large collection of books. Their best pastime was to indulge in the reading of books for hours and hours. Each person of the household was instructed to take extreme care of the books and to keep them clean and put them bake at their original places right after reading. Discussion upon the theme of the latest book being read by the family used to be the main modes of dinner table conferencing. All this seems like just a dream nowadays. The fast paced lives of the present times have bought a distant gap between man and what used to be his most cherished hobby-the reading of books. It would not be incorrect to say that the infusion, rather explosion of technology changed the mode of the entire American society. It is quite natural to realize that youngsters were and are mesmerized with the advancements technology bought to them due the fast pace associated with digital gadgets and the immediate responses social media and chat forums gave to youngsters but for many the transition being experienced by elders specially the older generation was not too comprehensible. They probably were mesmerized to see the way technology was changing life. The changes life was gone through with the help of technology were probably taking them into a world of fantasy making them neglect their most cherished pastimes. Assessing the above mentioned change many authors have discussed this transition. Mitchell Stephens mentions this issue in one of his remarkable works titled "The death of Reading" (1991) in the following words: " Our homes barely make room for reading. Those old islands of quiet -- libraries, studies and dens -- long ago were invaded by flat screens and Nintendos. Now they are called "family rooms" or, more accurately, "television rooms." And our architects seem to have given up providing us with bookshelves; instead they busy themselves designing "entertainment centers." (Stephens, 1991) The author highlights a very major fact by emphasizing that this infusion of technology was being taken very well in the sense that even the living styles of men were being shaped according to it. The architects also began making room for the attention laden technology rich devices and in order to make room for them omitted the conventional and much cherished book shelves that used to house memories of hours of family time spent together and the treasure of priceless book collections. The authors mentions that his arguments may not seem real statistically because figures showed a percentage increase in sales among the number of printed books being sold Also, there was an amazing fact that after fast food outlets, print book outlets were the next largest number of growing retail outlets in the society. But there was less good reason behind these figures. Most of the retail outlets showed that they did not have an increase in number of sales during the holiday season signifying that books were being sold merely as objects of gifts. Books were being trended as favorite gifts mainly because everyone knew they needed to a lot sometime for reading but were unable to do so. So in order to satisfy their feeling of guilt they would buy books as gifts instead. Stephens(1991) mentioned some more figures that the number of people who had admitted to have not read a book in the past year had doubled from 8 eight percent to sixteen percent since the last year. It was also ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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