How New & Old Ways Can Work Together

Recently, with the new digital age, it feels that traditional media has come to an end. CDs and record players are being replaced by digital downloads and physical books are being replaced with e-books. I’m sure everyone has recently heard of a Barnes and Noble or even a small, local bookstore closing down because of a decrease in demand for physical books. Although this may sound like digital media is taking over traditional media, it might just be benefitting it. 

825 million copies of print books were sold in the United States in 2021, which ended up being the best-selling year for print books. With the new digital age, the publishing industry expected this number to continue to decrease, but this change was due to TikTok. The hashtag #booktok has 89.8 billion views and that number has continued to increase. Multiple people in the publishing industry have credited this change to TikTok, such as Nigel Newton, the CEO of Bloomsbury Publishing.

BookTok is an extreme example of how social media can cause attention to things and cause a big impact on society. A smaller example of this is the Mojave Phone Booth. The Mojave Phone Booth was a phone booth in the middle of a desert where you could call and see who would pick up. Godfrey “Doc” Daniels thought that this was extremely interesting and decided to share it on social media. Because of this, it went viral and became a tourist attraction of sorts for a couple of months until it eventually got taken down because of a park that needed to be built. Both of these examples show how people can come together to contribute to things because they were shown on social media.

It seems that younger generations dislike reading or do not see it as a big part of their lives, something that you are forced to do because of school and not for leisure. TikTok blowing up reading and reviving it as something “cool” is a really good thing because reading is more involved in younger generations’ lives. “The quickest door to open in the woods for a child is the one that leads to the smallest room, by knowing the name each thing is called.” This quote may seem niche, but I interpret it as saying that in order to open doors in your life, you must be knowledgeable. I think that reading becoming a more common thing is significant because it helps the reader understand other peoples’ worlds and perspectives.

I think that the reviving of physical books was inevitable because of the cycle of life, the birth, death, and rebirth of something. The main idea of Nothing Gold Can Stay is referencing seasons. This is shown in the nature references throughout the poem such as “green,” “flower,” and “leaf.” The poem represents rebirth as spring goes away, but the thing about seasons is that they are continuous and always come back. Just like seasons, I can connect this to how books have come back because they too have gone through the cycle of life. This can be shown when books have always been popular, but have seen a decrease in the past few years, but now have become popular again.

To conclude, I believe that old and new ways can work together because of the way social media has aided the revival of physical books and reading in general. Although we do not know what the future holds, I think this revival of books truly shows that “People just don’t like to lose something that they have loved for centuries.” 

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