As I quickly Googled this concept as I thought about it, I came across a lot of posts about ‘Books VS The Internet’ and ‘Is the Internet taking over books?’. This isn’t what I wanted to discuss, I’m going to talk about the way books and the Internet work together in various ways and the ways in which they work together. So with that said, I’m going to make a few points about how I think the world of books, and the online world, go hand in hand and enhance our experiences of reading.
The Internet has made reading SO accessible. Before the Internet one would have to either buy a book from a bookshop or borrow a book from a library or a friend. These days though, with the Internet, we are met with an overwhelming amount of ways to access literature. We have online shops where we can purchase a book and have it on our door step in less than 24 hours. We can download books FOR FREE that are in the public domain. We can pretty much find any book about any subject by any person that we wish to and gain access to that book. It is incredible the way in which the Internet allows us to access literature. With this laptop I am typing on now, I would simply type in ‘Stephen King’ into a search bar and there would be THOUSANDS of websites and online shops displaying or selling his work. The fact that I can buy or read for free any literature I so wish is astounding to me and I am so lucky to have the Internet as a tool to aid me in my bookish past times.
Now that we have the Internet, reading is no longer a one man mission. Before we even read a book, we can look up hundreds of reviews and comments about it to see how others enjoyed their experience of it. We even have social media websites dedicated to the act of reading, such as the hugely popular GoodReads which allows us to see what our friends are reading and how they rate that particular book. Twitter is another way reading has become more social. I have even had conversations with authors of books via twitter that, without the Internet, I probably would have never had the chance to interact with the author of the book I am reading. I adore the fact that I can read a book, review it on my own social blog, as well as on GoodReads, and then even reach out to the author themselves and let them know my thoughts on their work. This is simply beautiful.
I’ll be writing more soon about the relationship between books and the Internet, as well as posting specific reviews and thoughts on some of the websites and things mentioned here. Please let me know what your thoughts are and let me know of any ways you think the Internet enhances, or maybe even oppresses our reading experiences.