Friday, June 26, 2009

Now vs. Then (Books and Reading)

Quote from an intereview with writer Lary Bloom in the spring 2009 edition of Readings, a publication of The Connecticut Center for the Book:

Q. "From a creative standpoint, how is the world in which we write now fundamentally different from that of Mark Twain, Harriet Stowe, and all these historical Connecticut writers?"

A. "We're dealing here with a collective loss of attention span. The best seller list and the book stores are less reliant on old-fashioned narrative and more on literary gimmickry: wisdom, briefly revealed, between the covers, as in teh indefensible Tuesdays with Morrie. This may change. As society confronts deep issues there can be a hunger span again to learn more through reading. On the other hand, the author's life remains a hard one. Yes, books still get published, but as a business, it's one that has no guarantees."

(emphasis mine)

1 comment:

Crimson Wife said...

I'm a voracious reader, but have found that using the Internet frequently has changed how I read. I rarely read non-fiction books in a linear fashion these days. I don't know if it's a loss of attention or whether it's due to a shift in the balance of power between an author and his/her readers. Why should I automatically defer to the author's chosen sequence of topics? If I'm most interested in chapter 8, why can't I just start there instead of chapter 1?