How have reading and books changed since you were a child? Yes, I think reading and books have changed since I was a child. Reading encompassed many types of materials, such as magazines, newspapers, comics, and books. Everyone at the time thought that television was encroaching on reading time and too much was bad for society. Today, reading and books are still relevant, just in different formats. Comics morphed into graphic novels while news, books and magazines are widely read electronically and sporadically. Reading and books compete, not just with television, but video games and social media.
What do I see in the future for reading books or publishing? I see printed books as obsolete. Electronic interactive books will enable the reader to choose characters, themes and ending. Lifeline is a popular app where the user participates in the story by choosing from several narratives. Such stories draw the reader into the story and allows them to actively participate. I also think eBooks will include multiple sensory stimuli to add to the ambiance of the story. Reading a book where the reader hears subtle background noises such as footsteps or traffic will add to the enjoyment of a story. Other senses could be included, such as smell and touch to enhance reading enjoyment.
Will we read more or less? I think we will read about the same. There will always be people who do not like to read and those that do enjoy a good story or to gain knowledge.
Will our reading become more interactive? Yes, I think the key for reading to survive is to compete with games and television by using forms of interactivity to elicit more involvement for readers.
What will happen to traditional publishing? Self-publishers are currently expanding at a rapid rate and I think it will continue until they surpass traditional publishers. Readers want more than cookie cutter novels and predictable characters and self-published works offer nontraditional writers to accommodate a new audience to provide unique stories.