It is not a surprise that courses such as those offered at ACCS require a considerable amount of reading. It is one of the necessary skills for study and it continues to be so throughout each course. Students are required to read and research, to expand their knowledge and further their understanding of the content read and of how that content applies within the context of past learning and anticipated future enquiry.

Many aspects pertaining to reading, however, have changed dramatically and quite rapidly in recent years. There may be some room for the idea that should the changes continue, the skill of reading, as now understood, may not be necessary in the future as text to speech becomes more advanced.

Another related matter is the impact of the e-reader. The influence this new method of information availability has on learning has become a topic of numerous studies. Personal responses vary, with many rigorously defending their preferred option of e-reader or hardcopy. Perhaps a point of agreement can be reached in the acknowledgement of access otherwise not possible being equal to the comfort and focussing effects of a hardcopy book.

There is no doubt that the ease of opening an e-book wherever one might be is highly appealing. Whether for study or enjoyment the readiness of access and the comparative low-cost is enticing. Yet, what might be referred to as a ‘blast from the past oldie but goodie book’ which evokes connectedness with the content and its meaning in and for one’s development is equally powerful. A YouTube presentation by Ben Myers on reading  provides a good example of this.

Whichever method is preferred there is growing support for reading for learning or leisure being beneficial for overall wellbeing. Therefore, the habit of reading for the enjoyment of the benefits needs to be maintained if not further developed.

Whether it be an e-book, borrowed book or a reading from a personal collection, whether it is new or previously read, I encourage you to engage in a relationship with an author today and enjoy the benefits. In addition, I encourage you to share the joy, and enhance the learning, by sharing the experience with someone.

Merilyn Smith