Saturday, September 02, 2006

Thoughts on reading

I hear/see laments around bloggerland and in writer's groups about the decline of reading in general. (Not at my house, I have to say. My husband and I read more novels these days than we ever have before).

It is true overall, I believe, that fewer people are reading novels and other fiction. Some blame it on decline of quality reading materials, but I have to say I don't think that's the cause--I've read books recently that have been superb, in all genres. Likewise, I don't blame television and movies, because those industries have been worried about a slump, too.

In my opinion (and since it's my blog, you get my opinion :-), I think people read less fiction because of the gazillion distractions we've created for ourselves. Let's see: if you miss your favorite tv show, no worries, TiVo recorded it for you (or your VCR if you're still living in the dark ages of five years ago). So you don't have to read a book for an hour, you can watch your missed show.

Can't figure out how to record off the dratted TV? No worries, join an online DVD club and they'll mail you every episode back to back of your favorite shows, plus any movies you missed.

Nothing to do while you wait at the doctor or dentist or to pick up your kids from school, or . . . ? No problem, pop your iPod in your ears and listen to your choice of hundreds of songs you downloaded or listen to podcasts. Podcasts (for those who don't know) are broadcasts you download for your iPod or other mp3 player, on anything from goldfish to international politics.

Want to actually read something--move your eyeballs across words? Then there are thousands of blogs out there and thousands of web pages available for your reading pleasure. Everything from international politics to dog sitting.

Not to mention online groups where you can chat to people about dog sitting or even reading books! LOL And don't forget video games, xboxes, online interactive games and so forth.

So what I think has happened is that the time most people would fill by grabbing that paperback (or ebook!) and reading voraciously are now filled by other things.

But the good thing is, not everyone has given up reading. I hear that the sales of children's books are very good, and that kids like to read. Like I said, my reading has escalated in the past several years. I'm finding very good books by new authors and new-to-me authors. I'm reading old classics and stuff published last week. My husband can't sit down without a book in his hand (when he does, I ask him what's wrong). My friends read and we talk about the books we like.

Anyway, that's my rambling thoughts on the decline of readership. People's focuses change, is all, I think, and people do focus on different things at different stages of life.

Speaking of books published last week, my friend Bonnie Vanak has a new one out--the Panther and the Pyramid. What a gorgeous cover!! (which blogger will not load for me, darn it--go to Bonnie's site and have a look.)

1 Comments:

At 7:04 AM , Blogger Cheyenne McCray said...

I think you're right about all the above Jennifer. I'm so glued to the computer and writing that it takes me forever to get through a book. I read before I go to sleep and I'm soooo tired at night. I've been gradually working my way through the same book for 2 weeks now. ARGH. And it's a great book!

 

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