Reading has changed for me in several ways. When I was younger, I would read for fun or because it was assigned reading. Now that I am older, I still read for fun, but I try to incorporate lots of different viewpoints in my reading. I read to learn about new things or have new experiences. Also, I find myself reading more on electronic devices. Granted, this technology has only existed since I’ve graduated high school (they might have had ereaders when I was in high school, I just wasn't interested). My library offers several different platforms that encourage reading on electronic devices. We have Overdrive for ebooks and eaudiobooks, Hoopla for ebooks, eaudiobooks, music, and movies, ComicsPlus for graphic novels, and Zinio for magazines. All of these can be downloaded through apps and accessed by using your library account. I think that apps such as these will be utilized more in the future. Just about everyone I know has a smartphone that is practically glued to their hands (I’m the same way, I still think it’s pretty cool I don’t have to manually load pictures from a digital camera onto my computer in order to post them on Facebook!) so, these apps are an easy way to read while you are on the go. All of these books and other reading material are just a click away, you don’t have to carry around a book, find a bookmark, and it’s just really convenient. On most of these apps, you don’t have to wait for an item to be returned, you can automatically access the item you want at the tip of your fingertips.
It is difficult for me to think about 20 years in the future! With technology evolving at a rate I can’t even keep track of, ereaders might be obsolete at that point. However, I think that traditional publishing will still be around. It might not be at the same rate as it is today. Self publishing has grown so much, anyone can publish a book. Literally anyone, my husband wrote and published a book. I think that more people will utilize these self publishing methods in the future. Book deals are hard to come by and lots of people want their voice to be heard. There are options to publish both physical and ebooks, so if ereaders are still a thing, this will still be a viable option.
I think (hope) that we will read more in the future. According to a Pew Research survey, 72% of Americans read at least one book a year. However, 80% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 read at least one book a year. Young people are reportedly reading more than their older counterparts. Hopefully, this trend continues into the future.