I am a self described bibliophile. I love to read. I can spend hours in a good used book store and am sorry they are not easy to find any longer. I loved going to Border’s Books when they were still around, and enjoyed finding the books hidden from view. I still love going to Barnes and Nobles, but admittedly I don’t go as often any more. I do, however, pay attention to the algorithms of Amazon… they are pretty good at finding what I will like. Fundamental indeed.
One thing that is different is easily downloadable e-books. I was a first adapter for using the Kindle. I have one of the original units. Before the Kindle came out, I would use an extra large suitcase for my trips to Japan because I needed room for the books I took with me. Even then, I was limited to 3 or 4 books, which on a long trip were not enough. When I first took my kindle instead, I was amazed at how many books I could have with me. I new right away it was a disruptive technology, and I was instantly an evangelist. It isn’t that I switched away from printed books. I still love the paper versions and use them all the time.
I have retired my Kindle because I can read all those books on my phone with the free app. I love it. When I am waiting in line, or early to a meeting, or have any extra time, I can just pull out my phone and read a few pages. It really doesn’t matter what tech I use, I just love to read.
Recently, with the publication of my book, Four Views of I – Instinct, Intellect, Intuition, Intention, I ran into a new phenomenon – people don’t read books any longer, they would rather listen to them. Now, this is interesting to me, and I am not opposed to it. I have learned quite a bit during my long commutes listening to “teaching tapes” and “books on tape”. But, what makes me pause is the people who have completely replaced reading with listening.
See, John 1:1 tells us “In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It is the passing of ideas from one mind to another. Writing down the word(s) insures they are passed on reliably with no distortion. Writing them in stone, makes it even more permanent.
Now, it is true that “Faith comes from hearing…” and when that was written, that was the only way some people learned.(Consequently, faith results from listening, and listening results through the word of the Messiah. – Romans 10:17 International Standard Version (ISV)) So, there is a biblical basis for streaming audio books, right? Also, Audiobooks are a goldmine for people who don’t know how to read. So, I am 100% for audio books.
I worry that people are losing something by only listening to books. I find it much easier to be distracted, or do something else while listening. So, my focus is not as complete. I trust my subconscious is drinking in the information, but I worry about not getting enough in my conscious memory. (The best way to reinforce the information is to read the same book while your are reading it… two inputs ensure more retention and recall.)
Basically, listening to books is awesome. Reading books is awesome. Doing both at once is best. Take time for a good book in any format.
Get new information and viewpoints. I suppose, as an author, I must accept this new trend and put my book in audio.