Saturday, July 07, 2012
A Bookless World?
I have to admit that I am alarmed at how few readers I have seen at airports, etc. on our recent travels. Not just books but newspaper reading seems almost non-existent. Remember when people bought magazines for their travels.
Now everyone is playing with their phones. I saw one huge fellow--had to be 6'6 carrying an ipod, an iphone, a laptop, an ipad and a basketball in his hands. He was prepared to do anything except read it seemed. I saw a table of four young women, all of whom were engaged with their phones rather than each other.
Did this disinterest in reading begin before the electronic revolution or did it begin then? Why is playing a game on your phone so enticing? Perhaps reading is harder than we thought. Keeping a narrative in your head with all these distractions is difficult.
Is there any way to get people reading again? If you were appointed the cabinet officer for reading what would you do? How will writers support themselves in the years ahead? Will we even have writers?