So you can read my books

Friday, September 26, 2014


Stories have been told for as long as we have been able to speak. - See more at:
Stories have been told for as long as we have been able to speak. - See more at:
Stories have been told for as long as we have been able to speak. - See more at:
Stories have been told for as long as we have been able to speak. - See more at:
Since blind Homer spun tales from his darkness to illuminate the darkness of his listeners, Man has told stories.

But in this video and digital age, do people still read?

You writers don't count.  Agents will tell you that!  Only poets read poetry today.

And we are close to a society where only writers read.

Most readers were read to when young. Now, our young are warehoused in kennels where the love of the story has withered.

When we read novels, we read about characters.

As readers we have a perspective not found in real life that allows us instant access to what characters are thinking and feeling.

Through their interactions with other characters we understand their internal journeys and empathise with them.

This behaviour of ours is possible because of what we call Theory of Mind,

and is the ability of humans, from a young age, to deduce or infer the mind-states of others.

As soon as we learn to do this as children we don’t stop doing it until we die.

Getting it wrong about other’s intentions can have terrible consequences on us as individuals, on our relationships and our place in our wider social group.

Social death is almost as much to be avoided as physical death.

This is why we constantly study the behaviour of others, modify our own and, especially, we talk about it.

We all know that reading about heroic characters in impossible situations can be thrilling and a great escape from our otherwise drab lives.

But new research shows that reading fiction can actually make us better people as well —

the more we identify with fictional characters on the page, the more we try to act like them.

As technology has played a bigger role in our lives, our skills in critical thinking and analysis have declined, while our visual skills have improved.

The proportion of children reading for pleasure has declined as their time is crowded with other activities,

and more than a fifth never read in their own time, according to recent research.

The study, which finds a clear link between reading outside class and high achievement in school,

reveals that fewer children are reading comics and magazines.

In a culture that reveres AMERICAN IDOL, YouTube, Facebook, and the Kardashians ...

does reading matter anymore?

When our current generation dies,
will people read for pleasure anymore?


  1. Who knows? It will depend on social influences, and whether their parents were readers or not. I don't think they read much just before the Romans or the Greeks declined either. Those scrolls were just too much trouble. . .

  2. I hope so.
    Or perhaps they will find another way to tell and listen to stories.
    When much of the population was illiterate stories were still told. If future generations become functionally illiterate perhaps movies will take the place of books. Or something new will.

  3. I think there will always be those who read for enjoyment and escape. Considering the world today's young people live in, to escape will always be important.
    The more we read about those characters, the more we try to be like them? Crap, I guess I didn't try to be a master swordsman hard enough...

  4. Hi Roland .. we are becoming a world of divides - those that read, and those that can't or can't be bothered. Somehow we need to instil a love of learning and questioning back into our societies

    If people can't read - they can't understand, nor can they relate to life around them ...

    I read to entertain myself ... and to study, and be able to keep up with what's going on the world ...

    ... we can't do that in or from sound bites - but we will be a divided nation ... of those who can, and those you cannot ..

    You're so right ... cheers Hilary