How to survive the age of distraction summary

7 July 2016

Is the tangible book going out of style? In the article “How to Survive the Age of Distraction.” Johann Hari implies the question: is the paperback book becoming forgotten in the face of electronic technology or can there be a balance?

In the article, Hari talks about how for years the paper book is constantly being challenged. Hari mentions the novel “Super Sad True Story” by Gary Steynghart. The novel goes on to worry that a higher technology will cause paperback books to be forgotten. Like Hari, most people are guilty of that huge collection of books they own and at one point ponder the thought – Am I ever going to read these? Hari argues that people feel e-books are simply more convenient and take up zero space. He states that the sales for the paper book decreased by nine per cent in 2011. It was the result of consumers having higher interest toward e-books and other technologies. The author makes a point describing how one can be distracted by the web. He brings up an author and apparent avid book reader whose nightly ritual of reading started to become antagonized by the happens of social media. Hari talks about how hard it is to cuddle up in pure peace, quiet, and focus with a simple book. He later mentions how we’ve adapted to be able to give our attention to a book that only has the capability to interact with us and give links as we are reading. He compares our ability to become distracted by technology to being addicted to alcohol. Hari enters the idea that all addictions eventually come to an end.

Finally, the author boasts about the paperback book. He talks about how nothing can compare to the physical book. The author states that the paper book is the only format that can captivate your attention with a complete silence and simple print. He talks about a paper book’s never-changing word and its longevity. Hari asserts that an actual book is much more natural to the human eye and mind, rather than an unnatural glaring screen for what he considers unhealthy hours. He later states that it would be impossible to live in a world with absolutely no books and that both electronic technology and a basic book can both exists.

In conclusion, the author continuously pushes forward the idea of balancing both electronic technology (i.e. social media) and the basic book. In other words, Hari gives hope that the tangible book can stand ground against electronics. As for the question: “How to Survive the Age of Distraction?” Johann Hari says: balance.

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