How Technology Has Changed the Way We Enjoy Books - Guest Post

Monday, August 8, 2016

Today Caroline from Culture Coverage will be join us with a post about how tech has influnced the way we read. I hope you enjoy!

If you haven't been living in a vacuum for the last few decades, then you'll probably have already seen how the advances in technology and the advent of the internet have revolutionized how we do, pretty much, everything.

In such a short space of time, we've gone from libraries, phone boxes and reference books, to having literally everything we could ever need in small compact devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

And books haven't escaped this technological revolution. These are just a few of the ways that reading and enjoying books have changed in recent years!

eReading: The concept of e-books has been around for the majority of the last century,

with attributions for the inventor of the format spread over several candidates throughout a 22 year period (1949-1971).

Although no one is sure who was the true pioneer in the e-book movement, it’s undeniable that e-reading found its commercial success after Amazon’s Kindle release in 2009. Now, it’s easier than ever to enjoy reading, as these electronic devices let you carry around a whole library of material in one compact product! Most smart devices now also offer apps to share e-book formats, so you can even get your daily reading fix straight from your phone or laptop.

While you can't argue with the convenience of this, some avid readers are less-than-enthusiastic about the developments.

They worry about losing that holistic experience you get from actually turning the pages and making your way through a physical novel.

However, whether you like it or not, e-reading has definitely changed the face of the book world forever!

Audiobooks (the best friend to tired eyes!)

Audiobooks are another fantastic product of our age of technology and have unarguable benefits for books lovers. My first experience of this format was through childhood story tapes, and I remember endless nights falling asleep to a whole range of exciting tales.

As an adult, audio-reading in this way is still one of my favorite pastimes. For those with text and writing-heavy jobs who spend all day staring at tiny fonts on computer screens and paper documents, coming home and reading can be near to impossible.

If you are one of these people and still want to get your literary fix on an evening, audiobooks provide a fantastic respite and a great alternative without straining your already tired eyes.

Remember When You HAD to Go to a Bookshop:

Now, I’m not saying that going to the bookshop isn’t a fantastic treat and amazing experience in its own right. I think it’s safe to say that all book lovers enjoy all the time they can get in these literary meccas. But there’s definitely benefits to being able to buy online.

Internet distributors, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Powell’s Books, make it easier than ever to refill your bookcases when you’re running out of things to read.

You can easily browse reviews, read plot summaries and chose your next book buy, and with one click, it will be delivered straight your door! In our modern world of jam-packed schedules, being able to do this is a fantastic benefit.

Similarly, e-book stores, such as Kindle, mean that even when you’re out and about— taking a break at your local coffee shop or waiting for the train—you can browse a whole library of options and find the next perfect read for you. All that’s required is a good WiFi network to connect you to the online store.

A Word of Warning:

Unfortunately, it’s this convenience of buying online that brings one of the few drawbacks the influence of technology has had on the way we enjoy books. Before the advent of e-books, we would have never, ever worried about our safety when reading.

However, now numerous criminals have gained access to their targets bank accounts via details saved on their e-readers.

While this is not necessarily the fault of the devices and has more the do with the insecure nature of the public WiFi networks that they rely on to provide their service, it’s still worth taking note.

Kindle Fire users in particular—as these devices require the most internet access out of all e-readers—have been warned to use a Virtual Private Network to keep yourself safe. If you don't know what this is or want to know what varieties are available, this VPN review website has more info and covers a wide range of options that are on offer.

The Benefits of Online Book Clubs:

It’s not just our own personal book experience that has been transformed by technology; it's also allowed us to create a virtual literature community that is unlike anything the world has ever seen before. While once discussing your favorite novels or slating over-rated authors would have been restricted to meetings with friends or local book clubs, now there's an entire virtual world where you can share you opinions.

Book blogs are becoming increasingly common and allow literally anyone to discuss their latest must-reads.

Alongside this, almost every online bookstore has a section dedicated to reviews where you can share your opinions and learn from other people!

There’s no denying that technology has revolutionized the lives of book lovers. Some adore the convenience these advancements have afforded us, while others worry about losing the authenticity of a paper-based culture that has been around for many years. So, what do you think? Are technology and books a match made it heaven or a sad reflection of modern life? Leave a comment below and share your ideas.

About the Author

Caroline is an entertainment and technology blogger and an avid reader.

She loves the way the internet has transformed book culture and hopes she can share her tips for combining her two greatest loves—tech and reading—with fellow literary fans.

You can find more of Caroline's work at Culture Coverage