Soundview Executive Book Summaries


What’s Been Happening to Reading?

Sometimes I capture people’s names, and sometimes I’ll forget them as soon as I’m introduced. On Labor Day weekend I was standing around waiting for the start of a junior campers’ award ceremony when I was introduced to one of the other adults in the crowd, John Thompson. I remembered the name because in the course of the fleeting encounter he mentioned he’s a writer. That’s really all that was said about that. Although I later “found” him and discovered him to be the author of The Armageddon Conspiracy published in Feb.2009 by Joggling Board Press. The book has received some favorable reviews as well as the honor of being chosen the 2009 IPPY Gold Medal Winner (Independent Publisher Book Awards)!

We talked a bit about the future of books in print and entertained the possibility that schools may eventually load textbooks to Kindles or similar devices for students. He went so far as to posit that if that happened, that generation would become accustomed to reading books that way, which would spill over to all their reading habits.

As loyal as I am to print, I am open to the possibility that my grandchildren may look at my treasured books like my kids now look at my treasured record albums or VHS tapes. I guess the important thing is keeping the interest in reading alive and well.

A recent article in The New York Times, “A New Assignment: Pick the Books You Like” describes an approach by teachers in which students choose their own books instead of assigned titles to read, discuss and journal about in the classroom. Known as reading workshop, several public middle schools across the country have taken the new strategy on this fall as a pilot program. The article relates that some studies have indicated that giving students options can enhance educational results.

A NYT article written in July 2008 suggests that the Internet has created a new kind of reading. The article also mentions that by this year some countries are/will be participating in new international assessments of digital literacy.

“The question of how to value different kinds of reading is complicated because people read for many reasons,” the article points out. “There is the level required of daily life – to follow the instructions in a manual or to analyze a mortgage contract. Then there is a more sophisticated level that opens the doors to elite education and professions. And, of course, people read for entertainment, as well as for intellectual or emotional rewards.”

The key focus for protecting our readership for now appears to be convenience and quality of content. We at Soundview continue to evolve to keep up with the changes and opportunities afforded by fast-moving technology and we are turning increasingly to providing more and more online content for our subscribers.

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