Muslimpress: Nowadays, people tend to read less books compared to 20 years ago, but why? This can be a tricky question and also an important one to pose.There are many reasons why, of course, and the reasons may be different in various countries. For example in developing countries, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran etc. economical issues might be the greatest cause, whereas in developed countries the change in trend and the mood of people may seem effective. Lately in the world most of the newspapers and book shops are being bankrupted and the statistics show that in America only, the reading rate has sank more than 10 minutes over the last decade.How affective economic reasons are?In the third world countries, economic issues seem the most important factor since usually people have to choose between eating foot or buying a book. More important, economic issues fill all the time of the people, so they will not have much free time to read and if they get free time the mental issues do not leave them alone. I use examples from Iran, since I live there and know exactly what is going on in there. People work all day long and the survival is the biggest issue to them. Books are expensive and usually have no value in your future career since you do not get a job based on you expertise or skill.Social MediaAfter a decade or so from the emergence of social media, especially on cellphones, now almost 60 percent of the people in world use them to communicate and get information. This is while the invention of computers and the internet also has had great effects on people’s lives. Now you can get the news from social media or news agencies right at the moment and for free, so why would you buy a newspaper? Now you can download books for free, so why would you buy a paper - book? Using social media or the internet to get information is OK, but unfortunately, easier and cheaper access does not mean reading more. Some might say that we have to change the way we look at reading process and have to change our formulas for calculating reading time in the counties, since today people are exposed to more words daily and that is a kind of reading, in fact, the new way of reading.Is there a difference between reading an E - book and a paper - book?We can look at this issue from different aspects. Based on the content there is no tangible difference, undoubtedly, but the quality of reading might be different. As you know reading from a screen is much slower than from reading a paper - book, so you will read less compared to the same time spending on a paper - book. The second matter is when your eyes get tired and you start losing your concentration. This usually happens after minutes of reading an E - book. The other issue is with our ' Unconscious Mind '. Our unconscious mind gets conditional after you do something several times. We usually play games on computers, watch movies, surf the internet, use social media to communicate with our friends and so on, therefore, our minds get used to the easier activities and when you are reading an E - book you cannot stop thinking about the games you have been recently playing or the movies you have recently watched. So people today suffer less concentration circle and consequently face with less short term memory. As the new study from Harvard University show. Based on this study people in 2014 have short term memory of an 8 seconds, which is even shorter than most of the sea fish. While the average memory for people in 1950s was about 12 seconds.What can we do? As mentioned above, the emergence of social media and TV and computers has change the life style in the world and has changed people’s concentration from understanding through ears to understanding through eyes. For example, if I tell you an address or write it down for you, it may skip your mind real soon, as though if I show you the map you perceive the location and are able to keep it longer in your mind (see what I mean?). This is while, people in the past used to sitting in the classroom and listening long lectures to get information or used to read books to entertain him/her self since there was no other options. The crucial issue is that in social media or even TV people usually follow non-educative programs or only chat with their friends about daily life. People often believe what they see or read on the social media without further exploring the matter to make sure if that is correct. This may in few years totally change the way people get knowledge and even the definition of knowledge would change. But what can we do? Of course, trying to deny or oppose this trend is the least rational you can do. Also being indifferent does not seem affective as well. The only option that remains is trying to adapt curriculums that are both educative and are based on the latest technologies. We cannot stop people from using cellphone nor can we force them to read books, so we have to be creative and use this evolution to make people smarter…   By: Hamed Abdollahi