Why do people still need physical books in the modern world? Do books provide something that is not found in the digital world? In his article called How to Survived the Age of Destruction, Johann Hari argues that reading a book is crucial for human beings as it provides deep linear concentration. He employs several writing strategies to support his point and calls readers to have a digital diet that will make them connected to themselves. Specifically, in his article, Hari writes about the importance of physical paper books through the use of specific examples, quotes, and word choice.
Hari uses examples from real life to demonstrate why people should read more. For instance, he gives an example of people who are trying to read a book with a laptop on the other side of the room. He writes, “it can be like trying to read in the middle of the party” (para. 5) to illustrate how complex for modern people to concentrate fully on reading a book. By the word “party,” he means distractions that people have due to technological advances. According to the author, this is a good example, as readers can imagine the level of destructiveness people have. Hari also uses his personal experience as an example of how to manage external distractions. He learned to “limit his exposure to the web” (para. 12), suggesting readers do the same. By this, he again highlights his thesis and calls for action and makes the connection with readers. Hari also provides examples of several social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to be closer for readers and make his claim relevant. As such, specific and personal examples are employed to attract readers’ attention, call for action, and prove his point about the significance of reading books.
Apart from the examples, Hari emphasizes on sayings of literature writers when addressing the importance of reading physical paper books. For instance, he employs quotes from David Ulin’s book and the French writer Jean-Philippe De Tonnac. Such use of sayings of specialists supports Hari’s claim and provides credibility to his arguments. Notably, by applying, Ulin’s quote, “the sense that there’s something out there that merits my attention” (para. 4), Hari demonstrates how reading a book is becoming not interesting and unnecessary for people. The quote catches readers’ attention, as if even a literature professional is experiencing difficulties in reading a physical book, other people should have lost the ability to read at all. As such, Hari attracts readers’ attention to the problem and demonstrates his claim that paper books are in a survival mood. There is also a quote by Jean-Philippe De Tonnac about the function of a book. Hari uses this quote to show readers what is the real purpose of reading books. The extract of the famous French writer is also used to demonstrate that Hari’s point is supported by him, thus gaining credibility. Similarly, Ulin’s saying that reading is the way of going away from distraction proves the author’s point.
Another rhetorical method that assists him in proving his point is specific word choice. Hari applies various metaphors and specific words to convince readers to read more and support his main message. For instance, he says, “we need dead trees to have fully living minds,” showing the vital role of a simple thing, such as a book, in people’s life and development. One more example is the word “wired,” of which Hari reveals meaning, “connected to the Internet” and “high, frantic, unable to connect” (para. 6). This word shows how the Internet and the world web make people disconnected from themselves, supporting Hari’s thesis and argument of being more distracted due to the absence of reading physical books. Another example is the word “web-induced ADHD” (para. 12) that suggests people’s addiction to the Internet, making the issue raised by the author more severe and eye-catching. The words “mental space”, “mental silence”, “mental snack” and “mental meal” (para.3, 6, 8) are also used for similar purposes. The words used by the author are in positive character, suggesting that there is no negative attitude towards the Internet and the modern world. Such a positive approach makes readers accept the author’s points and arguments. Hari effectively applies these words in his writing to demonstrate the link between reading books and the mental condition of an individual.
To conclude, Hari uses examples, quotes, and word choice as writing strategies to support his claim that reading physical paper books is significant in the modern world. He effectively engages specific and personal examples to show the relevance of his share in the contemporary world and support it by providing real-life examples. Another writing strategy that is employed to prove Hari’s claim is quotes. There are several quotes from famous writers and literature professionals that assist the author in gaining credibility and support for his ideas. Lastly, the word choice of Henri is also applied to bring help for his arguments, attract readers’ attention and establish a connection with them.
Hari, Johann. “How to Survived the Age of Destruction.” Independent. 2011.