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Saturday January 19, 2013

Has technology killed romance of books?

By SHARIDAN M. ALI
sharidan@thestar.com.my


IT'S still fresh in my mind the day my sister bought me a book, The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe by CS Lewis when I was nine that brought me to the magical world of Narnia together with Peter, Susan, Lucy and Edmund.

It was a turning point of my life where I found solace immersing into the literary spheres. Since then, books have always been a good friend of mine that has taken me to the moors that witnessed the complicated love story of Heathcliff and Catherine in Wuthering Heights and back to the early 19th century where Jane Austen depicted a common reality in England via her signature fiction, Pride and Prejudice.

Unfortunately, in our advanced era of blogs and Facebook, this favourite past-time has really become a thing in the past. For instance, many of our youngsters now only know Les Misrables as a movie that is garnering a lot of cinema interest and not as a literary masterpiece by French historical writer Victor Hugo that beautifully carved a story that revolves around the history of France through the struggle of Jean Valjean.

The same goes to The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien that is more famous as a sequel of successful movies.

From my observation, our smartphones and tablets have replaced the this popular habit of simply reading a book. Our community, especially youngsters of today, rather spend their free time while waiting for train or food at a restaurant by updating their social network status and snooping around blogs.

Well, I must admit that sometimes the sheer size of a novel can be overwhelming, but the journey of reading a book from the first word, to the next page and following chapter is just simply enjoyable if one truly commits to it.

It's like taking a drive through the countryside rather than taking a bullet train. It's the journey that matters.

But, the blame that reading has becoming a rare past time now cannot all rest upon the advancement of technology as young and modern parents now largely do not exhibit the liking of reading as much to be exemplified to their children.

I must admit I have in a the past couple of years been engulfed and entangled by the world wide web but after some time I found surfing and reading the net can not give me the satisfaction of physically holding a book.

So, while many of us are still struggling to stick on to their new year's resolution, why not just pick up a book and read.

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