‘The book has no place in modern society.’ Discuss

YES: The book is increasingly displaced by other cultural and leisure pursuits and its continued relevance to modern society is questionable.

  1. Reading remains an attractive and widely practiced leisure activity for many, making the continued writing, publication and selling of books a viable one.

  2. Many human societies retain a profound respect for the physical form of the book as a religious and cultural artifact, ensuring its relevance in many rituals and practices. 

  3. Many societies continue to appreciate the educational benefits accruing from reading and encourage its practice with the building of new libraries and improvement of existing ones, thereby keeping books relevant to the continuation of literacy and human knowledge.

NO: The book remains relevant to modern society and holds its own against other cultural and leisure pursuits.

  1. Many alternative activities and pursuits are increasingly replacing reading as a leisure activity, making the continued writing, publication and selling of books a less viable one.

  2. Technological developments, such as electronic storage and dissemination methods, have reduced the religious and cultural significance of the physical book, leading to its likely diminution in future generations.

  3. Educational institutions worldwide are gradually shifting to electronic mediums for the storage and dissemination of reading material, making the physical book a less convenient and increasingly less popular means of transmitting knowledge.

Author’s Note

 This question closely resembles 2003’s question 3 ‘Does the book still have a future?’. I have adapted the points in that essay to the question here.