The Future of Reading

October 24, 2016 Discussion 22

Once upon a time, storytelling was a solely oral tradition. As time moved on, people began to write and record tales that only the wealthy and privileged could read. Over time, as education became more accessible and the world became more literate books began to boom.

But how will reading change in the years to come?


What will happen to physical books?

I don’t think physical books are ever going anywhere. Yeah there are more convenient ways to produce books now, but it’s more than just the reading experience that makes physical books worthwhile. People love the way they look, the way they feel, the way they smell. Someone somewhere will always be producing stories in paper novel form. 


More Digital Content?

The invention of ereaders and mp3 players/ mobile phones has made books even more accessible and portable. Thousands of books can be kept on one small device and accessed almost anywhere. You can manipulate them to obtain the best reading/ listening experience for you.

I expect the use of electronic reading devices to only grow even further. Who knows, one day we might be able to download books directly into our brain, or use virtual reality software to fill the shoes of fictional characters and experience the story events first hand. 


Serials and Subscriptions?

This was a form of reading/ book release I never even considered until I heard about REMADE. This is a story, written by six different authors, released in weekly chapter/ episode instalments like a TV show. It is available in ebook and/or audio form.

This reminds me of the radio dramas and such in the past. It’s a great way to build suspense, though the waiting must be torturous!

What do you think is in store for the future of reading?

22 Responses to “The Future of Reading”

  1. Jordann @thebookbloglife

    I totally agree with everything you’ve said! I definitely think that there will always be paper books, purely for the experience. Electronic books are great but nothing beats a good paperback.

    Love this post!

    • Bec

      It’s more than just a way to read to so many people. It’s such a nice feeling to hold paper and smell it and read. They’ll be around forever.

      Thanks :)

  2. Tasya

    This is really interesting. I agree, as long the word “book” is exist, I think someone will keep printing it on physical or on paper, because the word book is always associated with the physical thing :D But as the digital and technology is getting more and more widely use by people, it will be more accessible through the tech. Again, there would still be people that still prefer the “oldschool” books (like me!). Audiobook and serial are more trickier for me. I have nothing against people who use it, but the word reading is all about interaction with the written text. I consider audiobook as books still, because they ARE books that’s released in the market, e-book or physical, the difference is someone read it to you like story telling. But I don’t think I will consider serial as books, because (as far as I know) there’s no “book” form released in the market, only released chapter per week. Then what is the different of serial with podcast? Basically someone write and read the story.. Idk I just find it still hard to grab the concept of serial as book and reading.

    Again, this is really a really interesting post guys!
    Tasya recently posted…Announcement: Exams and Moving to WordPress

    • Bec

      You know, this made me think about something. There may be more bookworms developing thanks to the greater accessibility of electronic books. Not all will read ye olde physical books, but books are books and reading is reading!

      The serial concept is new to me and really interesting. It would be great if they also released a bind up of the entire story at the end too.

  3. ShootingStarsMag

    Great post! I would love to have a virtual experience for some of the books I read, though probably nothing TOO scary or I’d easily freak out. haha I like the idea of a serial novel – even if it’s just one author writing, because it does go back to an earlier form of reading stories. I think it would work really well for mysteries!

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

    • Bec

      Haha I would be staying well away from horror books! It would be so cool to go explore fantasy worlds in the secure knowledge you can’t die though haha.

      Oh it does go back to earlier forms doesn’t it! Even parents reading a chapter of a book a night. I didn’t even think of that. It’s really cool.

    • Bec

      If they disappeared we’d have some super valuable collections though ;D

      Haha I’d be very wary with virtual reality technology, just because of the warnings we receive from so many stories!

  4. Simona

    I’d love to experience virtual reality while reading books. Or some interactive way of reading books, though I’m not sure whether it exists yet or not. Reader would not only read the story but he’d be able to decide for the characters, if that makes sense. :D Though I agree with you that actual physical books will never die because they just look awesome on bookshelf, they act as a decoration, they smell incredibly and they are just wonderful thing. :)
    Simona recently posted…Tips and tricks for learning foreign languages

    • Bec

      There are interactive/ enhanced audiobooks but it’s not the same. I would love to be able to emerse myself in the story, even if it’s just as a fly on the war watching the events as they unfold. Having a choose your own adventure component is another really interesting element that could be possible.

      Books are beautiful

    • Bec

      It’s going to be very interesting how the serial trend develops. I really hope it gives rise to some great stories

  5. Cait @ Paper Fury

    Eeep, I HOPE physical books never go anywhere, because life would be horrible without bookshelves of pretty books to stare at. I think books are too aesthetically pleasing to behold for them to ever go out of fashion. (At least not in my lifetime PLEASE, UNIVERSE.) But I do agree that the rise of ebooks is only going to get higher! Only, at the same time, I hope this doesn’t mean authors are paid less, because they deserve all the recognition for their talent and art and hardwork.

    • Bec

      What would bookstagram do?! They’ll be around as long as bookstagram exists I reckon haha. They’re so pretty.

      Authors deserve to be paid well for all the hard work and effort that goes into their writing.

  6. Joy // Joyousreads

    I’m an old school fool. As much as audiobooks and eReaders offer convenience, nothing beats the feel of a hardback or paperback on my hands. I like the smell of the printed word too much to ever be swayed by technology. I do take advantage of the benefits of audiobooks, though. I love that I’m able to multi-task.

    As far as serials go, I’m way too impatient to keep up so I wait until the entire series is out. #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…Weekend Readathon

    • Bec

      Physical books will always be my preferred method of reading. Nothing else can compare.

      The wait is hard! It’s bad enough waiting a year for a sequel, let alone a week for the next instalment haha

  7. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    Like you, I very much doubt that paper books will die out anytime soon. Maybe in the distant future when paper is a rarity but for the foreseeable future, books are here to stay! And I wouldn’t want it any other way because NOTHING beats holding a real book in my hands ♥

    I do adore audiobooks though and being able to have them on my phone has changed my life! I think a big part of it is because it takes me back in time almost to when people told stories out loud. I feel comforted by them :) I’ve pretty much given up on ebooks though so if ever real books die out, I’ll need to adjust back haha! Great post^^ xx
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    • Bec

      There will always be a need for at least one or two paper copies. Digital files can be destroyed easier than physical books! Plus they’re just better.

      I stopped listening to audiobooks for a while because of uni but I’m getting back into them again. It is nice to have someone narrate to you in their nice voices and tell you a story. It’s very nostalgic.

      Thanks :)

  8. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    What an interesting topic. I really hope that printed books stick around for a long time to come, and I really think that they will. Personally I love my e-reader for the ease of use etc, but there’s just something about an actual book and a bookcase full of beautiful covers.

    I have often thought that I wouldn’t mind just being able to instantly download all the words into my brain so that I could read so much faster – but then part of reading is the time you take to absorb and reflect and ALL THE FEELS. Instantaneous reading would do away with too much of that – so for me I will ALWAYS have the problem of too many books and so little time!
    Di @ Book Reviews by Di recently posted…Review: Heartless – Marissa Meyer

    • Bec

      Physical books aren’t just about the reading experience to a lot of bookworms so I think they’ll be sticking around for a long time yet.

      The feels are such a huge part of the reading experience definitely! I don’t think I’d ever want to get rid of them.

    • Bec

      They’re much better than ebooks in every way except maybe the fact you can adjust text size and they’re more portable. But they looks so boring on shelves haha.

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