Monday, 20 May 2013

The Future of Reading

An awful lot has been written about the future of reading and I thought it was about time I had my say.

With mobile phones, eReaders and audio books competing with traditional paper books there has been an awful lot, both spoken and written about the demise of the book. Can I just point out that it’s all bullshit. Readers read. End of argument. Sure the delivery platform may change but the desire to read a good story doesn’t.

I’m going to hold up my own son Daniel as an example. He reads every day. Sometimes he’s been known to lay down his Nintendo or Wii and pick up a book. His best friend is also a reader. They swap books with each other on an almost daily basis. I’ve overheard them discussing books on more than one occasion. Daniel received two books from Father Christmas. He’d finished them by the time we’d travelled the hour and a half journey to my mother-in-laws.

Once when we were in the supermarket Daniel wanted me to buy him an ice-cream and some books. I gave him the £4 change in my pocket so he could get what he wanted. Not having enough for both he bought the book.

Sure, he’s grown up watching my wife and I read, but I grew up with my parents reading infrequently, and I have had a book on the go since the age of eight. Daniel is now eight and he reads just as much as I do, has reader friends as I do and as he has grown older his love of reading has grown, as mine has.

So there you have it. As long as there’s young readers there will always be a demand for books. Personally I don’t care what platform my son chooses to read on. I’m just a proud father watching a child expand their mind.

P.S. It’s just a shame he’s gonna have to wait a few years before he can read any of my stories. I might have to write something without violence or sweary words just for him to read.

In other news Crime and Publishment is set to return in 2014 and is promising to be a fantastic weekend of crime writing courses. We’ve been lucky enough to attract such stellar names as Chris Ewan, Zoe Sharp and Michael Malone as tutors. Darren Laws of Caffeine Nights will be teaching attendees how to pitch to a publisher and will also be accepting pitches.

More information on Crime and Publishment can be found here.


  1. Hear! Hear! Excellent piece, mate. I think the current rounds of gloom and doom about the future of reading is, like Mark Twain's demise, are grossly overrated. Hell, I've been reading longer than most folks have been alive and can't count how many times I've heard the same liturgy -- usually when a new delivery system for reading has come along. I've discounted most of those panicked twitterings all along because of kids like yours (who reminds me of me from age 4 on) discover the kick of reading early on in their lives and willingly spread the disease for the rest of their lives.

    1. Cheers AJ.

      Nice to know I've struck a chord with someone out there. Readers are the future, and children are the future readers. Without readers, writers are nothing.

    2. True, Graham. I've been saying the same on my blog just this week. Since language first evolved we've needed stories. The medium has evolved from the oral tradition, and it's still evolving.

  2. Books have a lot more competition now than forty or fifty years ago. So I think the more formats that are available and the easier it is to read, the better.