Are Books Relevant In Today’s World?

girl reading book indoors

Not too long ago, books were considered the calling card of the “uncool”: geeks, nerds, and bookworms. Today, they have gained social acceptance, even patronage from people from all walks of life. With the negative connotation gone and the growing influx of new and exciting genres, books have come a long way.

However, while working on my first draft, I often asked myself, “are books still relevant today? Surely, new media offers all the benefits of books – and more?”A little trip down memory lane made me realize that I couldn’t be further from the truth. For a myriad of reasons, books will always be relevant. Here’s what happened when I cut them off from my life:

I was an avid reader from the age of 7. True, I mostly read comics at the time, but hey, comics are books too. As I grew up, my reading also matured. Classics, mysteries, science fiction, romance… virtually no genre was left unexplored.

And then, at 15, the TV turned on its charm for me.

For the first time in my life, my love for reading faltered. My academic workload had significantly increased at the time, so I thought that a break from the old printed text would do me good.
That was my undoing.

Starting from a humble 30 minutes per day, my TV time escalated to an average fix of 2-3 hours per day. The appeal was obvious- all I had to do was sit back and blink. Virtually no interpretations, observations and intellect required. And voila! I was entertained.

Sure, I’d still pick up a book every now and then (even this stopped after a while), but the enthusiasm was gone. The TV was now number one.

I even had a reason ready: reading is so slow and yesterday…who has the time for it? I actually believed this for a couple of years until a close friend pointed out that I had changed for the worse. Wondering what she was talking about, I sat down and made a list of what all had transpired over the years.

It was then that I realized how my harmless habit had seriously tampered with some aspects of my personality:

1. My attention span had considerably lessened. Thank you, two-minute breaks.

2. I hardly had anything meaningful to say when meeting friends or new people. Watching sitcoms definitely did not give me a new perspective on life.

3. My vocabulary was steadily shrinking. Unless, of course, stupid catchphrases counted.

I stopped right there, afraid to go any further. Why had things gotten so bad? I knew a lot of interesting people who watched the same shows that I did, so why was I the only one paying for it?
And then it hit me- all this was happening because I had given up reading.

With this realization in mind, I gradually began to read again. I don’t read nearly as much as I used to, still, I have regained my attention span, thinking abilities, and non-gibberish vocabulary.

Now, don’t you agree that books are relevant even today? I can’t think of any medium that can educate and entertain so effectively, can you?

Of course, I still like watching TV. I just don’t overdose on it.

22 thoughts on “Are Books Relevant In Today’s World?”

  1. I started daydreaming at work on day(not the best of things to do) but what i saw has stayed in my mind. I have put points in a note pad and every time I think of it, it grows. I started getting really into it and I felt I had enough to start planning for a book. Something I had never done before but then all these ideas popped into my head of drawing a world map, different races, languages they would speak (which is funny because I can only speak 1 and a bit). I was so excited I finely opened up the idea of writing a book to my closest friend. The response was heart breaking. ‘In the world we live in today books are irrelevant and are worthless’. I play ps4 with him. I started doubting all that I had done. Maybe staying to games is the better bet.

    That doubt brought me to search if books are still relevant and well thank you this post makes me happy that I kept my notes.

    1. I am glad my post made you feel better. Seems like you had a burst of creative energy…good thing you recorded your ideas! Your book sounds intriguing and I hope to read it one day. Keep on keeping on :)

  2. I totally agree… books are awesome simply awesome… :D lovely post btw… although technology has invaded the art of reading… books still remain ever so charming….

  3. I remember there was an episode of the original Star Trek TV series (with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy) where Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock met this one individual who didn’t use computers for his research. He used books.

    Kirk said to him, “You’ll find out things faster by using the computer.”

    But the man still insisted on delving through books.

    And a problem Captain Kirk was seeking a solution to that man finally found in a book because nobody had uploaded that particular bit of information to a computer.

    I remember when I watched that episode, it stuck in my mind because I remember thinking at the time, “I think there’s a very important message being conveyed here.”

  4. What an astute observation. Well written and my sentiments entirely… You cannot beat the feel of a beautifully bound book of quality in your hands, not forgetting the written word inside! Long live books…?

  5. True enough, books will always be relevant no matter they’re Physical or digital ones( specially when one can have a complete library in a compact USB Drive). But in personal experience reading an Ebook on PC,tablet, mobile, is definitely not the same as reading an actual book.

    Books are a way to capture the knowledge or in short their same as STONE WRITTEN. in any age a written stuff whether facts, figures, fiction, books will always be relevant.

    Loved the line ” COMICS ARE BOOKS ALSO” tell that to the parents who thought we were wasting time on such stuff.

    1. Amen to that!

      Nothing like the feel of a real book, is there?

      Well, I hope the ones who feel that way read this and change their mind :)

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