I admit it. I roll my eyes when I see a Kindle. I am part of that clan of literary nerds who go to Barnes & Noble and inch around the Nook/Kindle table as if being anywhere near it will give me some sort of technology hive. That being said, I cringe when the descent of reading and literature is predicted because of the rise of technology. Technology has led to a culture of impatience, of “we want now, and faster” which is not always helpful to the sometimes slow process of finishing a novel. However, in many ways technology is helping more people to appreciate books. The worldwide success of the Harry Potter series was rare, but it helped many people to fall in love with literature again. And when they fell in love with the story, they became available consumers for products that continued the story. Different technologies were created to continue the phenomenon: a theme park at Universal Studios, subsequent books and a website that allows YOU to be a part of the story. I see a future in which more events like this could happen. So, I pose: What if technology is NOT the death of literature? Here are five reasons why it may just not be.
- Kindles, Nooks, E Readers
Technology is changing the way that we read and access literature. We live in a world where going to Barnes & Noble isn’t necessary anymore. Every book can be accessed through Kindles and E readers, and most can be pre-ordered before they even come out. Although, I do not own technology to read my books, I have to admire the concept. More people are reading, and it allows book nerds to have lighter suitcases when they travel. How can that be bad?
- A new literary vocabulary and a new way of writing
Some of the most creative ways of writing and speaking about writing have come from social media. Tweet, e-read, RMMA, etc. (if you don’t know what these words mean, #googleit!) Anything that leads to new ways of speaking, reading, talking and writing is something that will influence the way writers write and the way books are created.
- Access to literary events and literary adventures
There are websites for each city, for each bookstore, for each historical home that once housed a literary hero. On the web, there are pages and pages of information that tell us what is going on and how we can find it. As book lovers, the web helps us to find poetry readings, to get a ticket to a book signing a couple of months from now, or even to reserve a seat at a Shakespeare play. At our very finger tips, there are resources for us to enjoy literature and connect with other people who do. This has opened pathways for book lovers to form online book clubs, sites like Goodreads and fan fiction worlds.
- Movies based on books
“Ugh, the book was so much better than the movie.” How many times have you heard this? How many times have you said this? Exactly. Technology enhanced (or sometimes degraded) books are all the rage right now: The Fault in our Stars, the Twilight and Hunger Games series, Boy with the Striped Pajamas, The Kite Runner, Fifty Shades of Grey (okay sorry, I had to include that one…#hotmess). All of these books have been changed into movies and done really well: some financially, some critically, and some both! Barnes & Noble often increases their sales by capitalizing on the fact that a movie will be released in a few months. That is the reason for the books in the center of the store with the film photo as the cover. Technology has led to the actual ability to see the characters we loved in words morph into 3D. Though not every film is a success, there is respect for the attempt.
- The ability to create websites like this!
There are many places online that allow people to read great work, and Apeiron Review is one of them. Continue to support literary magazines and web pages that specialize in sharing good literature that will make you marvel, think and connect. Be active on the portals. This last point is about YOU. Participate in the conversation, embrace the changes, and literature will stay for years to come, with or without technology.
By: Tiara DeGuzman