Is Reading a Fading Past Time?

Read a Book by  Jeremy Brooks

Read a Book by Jeremy Brooks

I like to follow trends to better understand them. I've been commuting to my day job in the city for more than 21 years now and I've seen things come and go. I know my reading habits have changed, but I'm curious whether yours has too.

Back in the late '90s when Harry Potter was all the rage, I'd see at least a half-dozen people on the train holding their big and thick books. If Voldemort himself came to attack our train, there would be a good contingent of us who could attack him and knock him out with the heavy hardbacks! That's just how it was back then. People wanted to read the latest Harry Potter and you'd carry the heavy book in your bag.

Then back around 2008, I started seeing Kindles starting to pop up. More and more people were bringing their ebook readers onto the trains. Instead of being caught with a Fifty Shades of Grey book on your lap, you'd have a Kindle or Nook and no one would have a clue as to what you were reading.

But today it's pretty rare that I see a Kindle (and I can't tell you the last time I saw someone reading from a Nook on the train). Instead I see people on their smartphone (iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Pixel XL, etc.) and guess what? They're not reading.

They're playing the latest Candy Crush like game, or some other type of game, but there's been a change within the last year that I've noticed. More and more people are watching Netflix on their phone. They're not reading, but getting caught up on their binge watching.

Back in the '90s, watching a TV show from your phone wasn't possible. Now it's all the rage. So much has changed in 20 years, that I often forget.

Personally, I prefer a physical book, but I've been getting less and less of them due to lack of space in my home and not wanting to carry them with me to and from work. I love the feel of a book in my hand, the smell of it and (I know this might drive some people crazy) how easy it is to take notes in the margins.

I'm not seeing as many people reading books on the train any longer, but see that watching entertainment is quickly replacing reading. I noticed that I watch more video on my phone than ever before. I sometimes watch movie trailers and commentary, but I have yet to watch an actual show on my commute. I prefer to watch at home.

But that got me wondering, what are your reading habits?

Looking back, there's a lot of change that's taken place in the way we read and consume media. I know my reading habits have changed and I'm curious what you think.