How have reading and books changed for me since I was a kid?
I tell you what I no longer have to read books with a flashlight under the covers. I miss the thought of it but at the same time eBooks and audiobooks are just so convenient. I'm at a point in my life where I live in a teensy weensy apartment and I don't have the room to hoard so many books. Most of my collection is sadly boxed up at my parent's house for them to keep until I get into a house of my own. I hate it a lot. I love reading eBooks for the sheer convenience and it lets me still enjoy reading without having to clutter my already cluttered apartment. However, authors can't sign eBooks and I can't experience and gawk at pretty book covers. I can't wait to have that back in my life when I have a house and a personal library (right next door to my fiance's music man cave that he wants).
As an adult I read less for fun than I did as a child. Part of that is because graduate school as well as teaching (did NOT have time to read that year) prevented me from doing so. Now I'm working full time at a library, still going to graduate school, and planning a wedding so I'm still pretty busy. I expect that to change entirely next month once I'm out of school. I have a goal to read 40 books this year and I'm at a pathetic start. I pulled off 33 last year so I think I can catch up!
I think self-publishing is becoming a lot more accessible so I think we will start to see more of those emerge from the shadows, although it would hurt the publishers even more than they currently are with battling to figure out how to make a profit off of eBooks. I could imagine a lot of things happening. Books could become more expensive and valuable again (sad for my wallet, but I could see it happening). I couldn't imagine them becoming obsolete though. I don't think my brain could ever wrap around that concept.
I can see story telling and reading taking different forms. With the lastest expansion with Virtual Reality and how art is transforming with virtual reality software like Tilt Brush, it could be the same for books. What if we could read books in VR? Live out the story in the books in VR? Or be the main character in an RPG video game in a virtual world? We have an HTC Vive at work that we're testing for teens and the technology for this is here and I could easily see that coming into play for education, reading and creativity in 20 years.
I feel like I will never stop reading and I hope that it's not going to be a rare thing. Yeah, I will probably still read a lot of eBooks, but I do want a big collection of physical books in my personal library, especially ones that my future children can access. My kids will likely have restricted 'screen time' but as long as the homework is done and it's not too late at night, I'll never turn them away from a physical book.
Occasionally I may even pretend not to catch them reading with a flashlight under the covers.