In today’s world filled with technology and mechanical science, it is difficult to foresee the future of books as we know them. Before the age of computerized wisdom and technological entertainment, means of leisure and amusement were few and far between. Without the luxuries of television, stereo, and internet, passive entertainment was nonexistent. To escape the rigors of everyday life, people could not just lose themselves in an abyss of pixels, but were forced to find other ways to flee reality. Literature became a way out.
As long as humans have been able to think, stories have been passed from person to person and generation to generation. These stories provided endless amusement and entertainment to a population with little else to do. Those who needed escape found outlet in these spoken words. As language developed and writing began, these stories found themselves etched into tablets and paper being forever chronicled into history. As stories became longer and more involved, the individual papers lengthened into volumes. With technology growing, these hand written volumes were able to be mass printed. These books could now be distributed to a vast array of people. Like our movies and television shows today, the novels and stories became a way for people to find adventure, love, and excitement. Books took people to a world they were not accustomed to, often one far better than the one in which they were living.
Technology continually expanded, and eventually, newfound devices such as radio and television became new ways that the spread of stories could take place. The ease of these devices resulted in an apathy for literature. People did not want to take the extra effort, however minimal, to manually turn hundreds of pages. Books were now for those unconventional people who loved literature and the written word. Now with movies, DVDs, the internet, and compact discs, bound books are becoming obsolete. The stories are intact, yet the words are no longer written.
I believe that literature will continue to play a vital role in the world’s society. I also believe, however, that books in the form we know today will slowly disappear. As technology grows, so does the laziness of the human race. People will not read if they can hear, see, or even be a part of the stories they long to have. Eventually they will not only be able to read these beloved stories; they will experience them. People will still seek an escape from their everyday lives, and the human imagination will continue to flourish as it always has. Yet as the fantasy becomes easier and easier to obtain, the effort to acquire it will decrease, however unfortunate that is.
People will continue to put their thoughts into words, be it through script, email, or letter. Language will not be forgotten, nor will be the classic literature we have gained thus far. The timeless stories we have come to love will remain a part of our history, and may eventually even be improved upon. There is no way to tell what the future may bring. Technology will continue to flourish, and ultimately we may be able to actually be a part of the stories we once merely kept in our minds. While literature in novel form may fade into history, the words, ideas, and themes kept within their pages will remain in our society and in our minds forever.
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