With the summer vacation just around the corner, many of us will have already started to put together a reading list for the break. Once the hustle, bustle, stress and pain of term time have started to ebb away, the summer is a perfect opportunity to open the books that have been neglected for the past year.
Starting a book signifies something special. Why does it feel like a new beginning to life? Why do we wait until we are ready to take on the new challenge of starting a book?
Swept away by the narrative, the reader and the book become a single entity.
A book is a new beginning. Not only is a book merely pieces of paper stuck together, but instead it soon becomes an integral part of life itself. When you pick up a book and decide to stick with it, the reader embarks on a journey alongside the characters. Swept away by the narrative, the reader and the book become a single entity. The book becomes part of a person, carried from place to place, waiting patiently to be opened again.
Remarkably, books bypass our somewhat short attention spans. Studies by Microsoft have proven that the average attention span of an adult is eight seconds; only slightly ahead of a goldfish!
Books are not particularly fitted to the fast paced worlds we live in
Furthermore, information is delivered to us at express speed and social media spouts news in tit-bit forms, presenting the reader with the bare minimum content to consume. Films today have an average shot length of less than two seconds, meaning that an audience is not expected to focus their attention on one thing for more than a brief period. To add to this, music has fast beats and short lyrics that are designed to comply with our attention spans.
Books, on the other hand, are not particularly fitted to the fast moving world that we live in. Embarking upon a book with a few hundred pages and no images to sustain our attention requires an amount of effort that is beyond what we have been conditioned to put in. It takes dedication and patience to finish a book, becoming a part of life, since a substantial amount of time is contributed to the pieces of paper. We wait to begin a book, often putting it off until the summer holidays, simply because reading is a huge commitment. We begin them only when we are prepared to dedicate time and energy to switching off our screens and opening up a new chapter in our lives.