Reading in the 21st Century

From the beginning of time until just about a decade ago, if you wanted to read a book, you either had to visit the local library to check it out, or you had to buy it from a bookstore. Either way, you were stuck with anywhere from 130 to over 600 pieces of paper sandwiched between a front and back cover. At the time, it seemed well worth it to lug these books around because you did not have an alternative, but times have changed. We have become more and more against pollution, and printing several copies of books, which will likely eventually find their way to the trash can will certainly eventually cause some harm to the environment.

Beyond the recycling issue, however, comes the modern-day need for convenience. Over the last couple of decades, we have become a population that does not want to hassle with carrying around more stuff than we need to. We want to have everything packed into as small of a package as possible, and studies have pretty well proven that we are willing to pay the price.

Just look at cell phones. When they first came out, they were too bulky to even remove from your car, and it cost a ridiculous amount to make a phone call. Today, we are complaining about having to pay less than $100 per month for unlimited minutes, texting and Internet bandwidth.
It appears that the trend for readers is also starting to shift from your ordinary paper and hardback books to e-readers. These not only save paper and our environment, but they also allow us to have a much more convenient reading experience. Rather than lugging around several books to take on a trip, you can have thousands of books stored on your e-reader.

So, what are the numbers looking like for the e-reader market? Well, the Pew Research study indicates that the percentage of people using e-readers in comparison to last year has jumped from 10 to 19 percent. On the contrary, the percentage of people still reading the traditional-backed books fell from 72 to 67 percent. However, you have to keep in mind that many of those readers also likely read e-books and owned e-readers.

This is a trend that we could see coming from a mile away, but the continuous rise is still entertaining to watch. E-readers truly have become the modern-day book version of cell phones.

Jason Russell is our resident technology expert covering everything technology related. He is a total technology geek and no one knows technology better than him.

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