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To read or not to read

4 mins read
by Katie Williams
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The idea of curling up in bed with a cup of tea and a good book seems like the most idealistic, perfect way to end the day or spend a day off work.

I have a book next to my bed for when these moments arrive.

Yet, after over a month of owning this novel, I am only 42 pages in.  When I wake up at 11am on a day off, it is a lot easier to flip open my laptop and quicker than you can say Stranger Things, I have cocooned myself with an endless Netflix series binge.

Meanwhile, my little book sits and collects dust.

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Image Source: https://thebookshelfofemilyj.com/2015/06/03/pilesofbooks/

The internet is now more accessible than it was when I was growing up.

Suddenly there is concern when a café does not offer ‘free wifi’.

How are we meant to share the artisan coffee we are about to drink? Social media has never been more accessible, but have we become a generation who prioritises reading Facebook statuses over a book?

I spoke to 20 people, online funnily enough, and 11 of them said that social media distracts them and is a reason as to why they now read less.

Four out of the 20 admitted it is down to more personal reasons as to why they simply do not have time to read; as work and family life naturally become a priority.

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According to the BBC, eBook sales rose to £16 million in 2010 with the introduction of kindles and tablets and only in 2016 did hardback book sales rise 0.4%, the first time book sales increased within four years.

Of course, eBooks still are regarded as books. While nothing beats the smell of a new book, we must accept the development of technology as we move into 2017.

In fact, one of the women I spoke to said: “My kindle made reading more accessible and social.”

She stresses she reads more than ever due to having a kindle as she has her books on hand at all times in one little space.

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Image Source: https://www.engadget.com/2016/05/02/amazon-kindle-oasis-review/

The generation before us is quick to blame the Internet for the decrease of reading, but maybe the solution is not to cut it out completely, rather to use it in conjunction with our will to read.

Twitter and Facebook allow us to follow our favourite authors. It can be a form of connection between the reader and the author, as well as a source of insider info, revealing the release date of new books.

While we spend hours mindlessly scrolling, we could be educating ourselves by following the right people.

Book bloggers suggest books for people to read with reviews and are never short with their reading list.

In addition to this, Twitter has opened a platform for people to discuss books they have read proving that the internet and reading can be used in conjunction with each other to be a pure social media platform.

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The Features section of Brig, Stirling University's student newspaper.

Editors: Elizabeth Ross & Warren Hardie

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