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Books in the age of Candy Crush

When Jane Austen declared that ‘after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book!’, she of course had never imagined something like a Facebook and Instagram. Technology has taken over our world. Go to a mall, a park, a subway, anywhere and you see everyone bent over their phones. Communication or face to face communication rather, has taken a backseat, and so has the simple pleasures of life. Like walking in the park and noticing a blooming flower, like riding to work and noticing fellow passengers and their lives on the bus, like reading a book.

Books have taken a backseat and the proof is the gradual disappearance of bookshops, book clubs and library cards. Honestly, when was the last time you used a library card (if it hasn’t already expired) for just the pleasure of going to the library and browsing through some old favourites? What happened to the book clubs that used to be such a rage in school?

Somehow Internet, chats and social media has taken over the good old pleasure of sinking deep into a engrossing piece of literature. Instead of learning to read from picture books, toddler know how to operate an iphone. Reading extensively has been replaced by scrolling through posts on tumbler, memes have taken over comic books. Life has become more about instagramming than about actually enjoying it. Books are not discussed at home where family meetings are held in front of the television sets and a new Xbox or a selfie stick has become a better Christmas gift than a good old hard-cover. We may plead guilty and blame the scarcity of time as the reason for the withdrawal from books, but the lack of literature in life has its own disadvantages.

The kind of wing that words give to imagination is inconceivable through any other medium, written words penetrate the mind more than visual images as they stay there and cultivate ideas.

Of course, books are being written and published still. Of course bookworms can still be found curled up in bed with a book, instead of livetweeting their lives, but they are a dying breed. Technology has indeed made the world an easier place to live in but let’s not sacrifice the simple pleasures of life over it.

Between The Covers is a weekly column on reading up and rating down
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