Reading: a pleasure also on the Internet, by Leda Isabella Fianchi

It’s funny how often I talk about reading and it’s even funnier what my friends think about this. They always say: “C’mon, it takes up a lot of time, you have to concentrate, and you need to be alone and in total silence”. But, wait a second, is that really true? People use the Internet for everything, so how can we recover the pleasure of reading in this fast-paced technological world?

First thing to mention is that there are two different kinds of books: fiction and non-fiction. Fiction is defined in the Cambridge English Dictionary as “the type of book or story that is written about imaginary characters and events and not based on real people and facts”, for example Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, or Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Non-fiction consists of “writing that is about real events and facts”, the kinds of books that we study at school such as The Diary of Anne Frank. It’s important to know this difference because most of us are accustomed to considering reading as boring because it is often connected to school study, but besides school and traditional ways of learning, nowadays we have a lot of effective and even fun ways to discover the contents of any book. Reading enables us to realise that the stories found in literature are not so far from ours.

Above all, we should consider the huge impact that the internet has in our lives and the opportunities it provides. For example, we can find out about the contents of a book by downloading or watching the movie or TV series based on it. This could be an alternative way of learning something about the lives of the characters described in the book, and can help us to start to thinking that their thoughts, actions and feelings are not so far from ours even if they belong to a different historical age.

Also on the internet, especially on Facebook, there are pages that people create to talk about literature in an entertaining way with articles and videos. For example, Wisecrack is a Facebook page where short videos are uploaded, in which a guy summarises and analyses the most famous books in literature. The funniest thing about these videos is that the books are “explained by a gangsta”, as indicated in the title of the videos, and the speaker looks and acts rude and cocky and like a gang member, but it’s really funny to see (and learn at the same time). Another successful way of convincing people to keep reading today, especially since young people prefer the easiest and fastest things, is to read e-books, which are delivered almost instantaneously. In this way you can read lots of books, on your laptop, notebook or any ebook reader, wherever you want.

So, here we are. I’ve shown you that it’s actually possible to live in a digital world and love reading as well. We can spend time on the internet learning about stories and books. Even if they have been written years ago and belong to different ages,  they are still about human beings. They are closer to us than we might think because books deal with everyday life issues, such as friendship, love, work and so on. With these modern and faster approaches to encourage people to be curious and positive towards literature, they may also be persuaded to learn more about classic and modern novels, just by reading books and surfing online.

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