According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, paper book reading by elementary, middle, and high school students decreased every year, and the annual number of reading amount decreased by 0.1 to 3.2, compared to last year. This trend appeared as society was digitalized. Since the development of metal printing and type printing, paper books have continuously expanded human thinking. There might also be solutions for the challenges we were looking for, in future books. In the past, mankind believed that it could only gain wisdom through books. Even now, many intellectuals say that books allow human to think more deeply. But today, the younger generation only looks at the screen without reading paper books. However, if the definition of a book changes to an object, which contains wisdom and information, actually the amount of reading is enormous, if one includes being exposed to web posts, blogs, Twitter, and Google media.
With the rapid progress of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the social aspect of pursuing convenience and efficiency has become a serious undertaking. This leads to a thirst for fixed and restricted information. However, there are many disadvantages to not reading a book. No matter how the media deliver convenience and efficiency, there is a limit to the ability to develop critical thinking and deeper thoughts. Internet materials are not only less reliable than books, but they are much freer to provide superficial and false information. An article about ‘fake news" reveals that there is a large amount of social damage according to the false information from the Internet. These ‘fake news’ spread to ‘fake public opinion’ and worsen social conflicts. Recently, the compound word ‘infordemics’, which combines ‘information’ and ‘epidemic’ disease, has appeared. This is a phenomenon where unfounded rumors and faulty information can lead to a social, economic, political, and security crisis. Mass information from the Internet is highly dangerous in many ways, so reading must be continued for power and the ability for thinking.
When Amazon e-book Kindle was released to the world in 2011, the French people were worried about bookstores and paper books. However, e-book sales accounted for 4.5 percent of the total sales, and paper books were still high. This is because paper books contain values that digital books do not have. Author Lucien X. Polastron, who wrote ‘Histoire de la destruction sans fin des bibliothèques’ as well as ‘La Grande Numérisation: Y a-t-il une pensée après le papier?” mentioned that "The Internet is an environment where you can't read properly. Someone might send a message or can be attracted to a new song while looking at the screen. Therefore, a ‘book’ can not exist on the Internet".
You can improve your ‘emotional intelligence’ and ‘general knowledge of the world and culture’ through daily reading. First of all, you can relate to many people through reading. Also, general knowledge of the world and culture can be improved. General knowledge can be obtained in any book, whether it is fiction or non-fiction. Even novels contain many elements inspired by legends, history, and various stories that exist in this real world. Reading is also useful for human beings in improving their vocabulary, spelling, stress relief, and critical thinking. Reading is also very important in terms of neuroscience. Through reading, the human brain increases its empathic ability. Empathy with others is essential for people to live and understand each other. If you can't empathize with others, learning as a human being will be difficult. The experiment related to reading books was conducted in 2012 by Christian & Edu Life Australia. This was done by dropping a box of pens on desk and examining who was helping pick up the ballpoint pens. The results showed that people who sympathized with the characters more emotionally during the course of reading readily offered help. Through reading, they learn to understand other people's situations. This amazing capacity of the brain is called the ‘plasticity’ of the brain. The human brain can change anatomically. It means that the brain changes depending on how you use your brain and what you think. Reading books is the most effective way to activate such potential.
According to many authors, it is totally fine to read slowly. Also, if you start reading a book that ends up not capturing your interest, just stop reading it. And that might help you to easily make reading a habit. You can't develop a reading habit right away, but if you go on with a few books at your own speed that suits you, you might be able to find yourself fallen in love with the book. Reading is a process that requires a lot of time. But you may gain confidence through understanding and beautiful internal growth in various areas. Always remember. You need a lot of patience and effort to read a book. But it is a totally rewarding process in your life. I hope that everyone could be able to understand the beauty of reading.