Reading and Book Existence in the Postmodern Digital World
Among the most alarming findings for reduced spiritual contacts in contemporary societies, including that in Bulgaria, are those for reduced readership of books. Regularly conducted sociological and statistical surveys during the last decade have revealed a relatively sustainable situation of declining or withholding the amount of readers. National statistical institutes, Eurostat, specialized sociological agencies and specialized foundations are constantly conducting surveys, resulting in more or less grim pictures of the level of reading in many European countries.
However, it should not be overlooked that the statistical picture of reading is not always presentеd in the light of the digital age. The metamorphoses through which the book is passing and the transformations in reading habits that have taken place in the digital era require a special research approach attempting to outline both some of the consequences and the causes for the fundamental changes that accompany these processes.
This article presents aggregated data from an "expert evaluation" survey of 14 experts participating in the COST Action IS 1404 E-READ (2014-2018) on the attitudes towards modern forms of reading and the future of the book, which has been conducted within the framework of the research project DCOST 01/13 - 04.08.2017 of the National Scientific Fund of Bulgaria.
Some of the expert conclusions state that the book in its traditional form will change to a great extent, and that there will be many convergent processes between the traditional and e-formats, as well as among the other media, but as a paper product the book will not disappear, it will become the dominating possession of the intellectual elite.
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