The alarm has been sounded over the future of reading. We are rapidly becoming a culture of the image, not the word, we are told. Those who have been saturated in the hyperkinetic visual stimulus of electronic media are losing patience with the page and the more linear habits of thought needed to follow communication structured by printed words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters.
If the popularity of the Harry Potter books and the Oprah Winfrey book club is any indication, it’s a bit premature to announce the death of print culture. But the changes in how we communicate are profound enough to prompt religious people to consider the place of reading in their personal lives, communities and traditions.