As brains are being reconfigured in the digital age, we have to ask the relevant question whether the reading habit is being altered too. It is possible, with the huge amount of content that is available with a habitual click and scroll, there seems to be a long-winding trail of content available for reading.
Well, how much of reading or scanning that occurs can be gauged by the time spent on each piece of writing (articles, essays, books (fiction, non-fiction) research publications, a literature of various genre, etc.) and the following interpretations or maybe a cursory glance/scanning that provides some acquaintance with their silhouette.
We’ve all heard this saying ubiquitously, “Books are special”, but how many of them have been carefully studied off the digital screen or printed books can be debated. Let’s face it, there are too many books being published today. The numbers are staggering! It is evident that it is impossible to read a book for a lengthy period (with annotations, and studied discussions, to comprehend its true nature). The lure of reading more books over a short period, or, to fulfil the quota of books for a year, does not give that luxury to read only a few books with sincere understanding.
The digital medium and its bounty of information (useful and useless) do affect the attention span of an individual. It is not humanly possible to acquire and learn so much information, leave alone understand them, which is a concern in the world of genuine literature connoisseurs. Distractions trigger overthinking and sometimes, over-simplification of serious philosophical discussions that arise from such rapid reading.
In this world of rapidness, the propensity to scan through the huge collection of reading material does not justify the purpose of reading. Even writers are writing in haste; without a body of work, careful composition of collections, they seem to fall for the swift publication trap just to put the words there in the various digital platforms. It is easy to utter the love for literature, reading, and writing but it is not merely the love for fancy vocabulary that enhances the quality of each phase; there is a deeper philosophy of unhurried and studied contemplations that helps create quality literature.
As in a relationship, one cannot just proclaim the word love, without showing genuine care and dedication towards the person one loves. Similarly, the love for a book, literature of any genre can develop with the same intensity and dedication towards the philosophy. A book, writing, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, are not merely to satiate the genre of literature, but cater to the careful readers who wish to study them with love.
It is necessary to break the monotonous cycle of creating hasty work of literature for the purpose of seeking some attention across the digital platforms. Literature is serious and has the ability to mirror society to inform, educate, and inspire future minds. It must stimulate serious discussions on the philosophies of existence and human nature.
A writer must be a sincere reader! Immersing the mind in the sea of knowledge takes patience, dedication, and passion to create. Do not let distractions shape your thought. Demand for frivolous works of creativity from readers can also convince the writer to deliver weak and flighty writing. How the writer sustains through the challenges of the digital push and digital rush is to be observed. It is not easy to stay away from instant recognition and relative fame.
To process a book and sincerely understand the philosophy from a writer’s perspective requires a fair knowledge of reading and interpreting. A writer will have a lot of metaphors, characterisation, and allusions to historical and mythical events. So, to glance through writing is not only unjustifiable but an insincere attempt to finish a book at the speed of digital hysteria.
The fact that people are reluctant to read long blogs, voluminous work of literature, dense poetry (with philosophical knowledge) points to the alarming shift towards a hurried trend towards literature. Love for literature is a gradual experience; there is no short-cut avenue to grasp this abundant world of knowledge and philosophy. The pretentiousness of mere knowing and casual mentions has to evolve into a more serious discussion and narrative that can take literature seriously.
Now, instead of genuine literary criticism, there are gradual mentions, curt replies, needling sarcasm, apathy, obtuseness regarding creativity. Do not patronise writers and books, but try to comprehend the magnanimity, usefulness, and unselfish journey of literary pursuits to form a world culture of tolerance, creativity, healthy discussions, and development. Plots and characters are not incidental; they are from the imagination and also from reality.
Read not is haste, but with genuine interest!