Yeah, it’s so hard to read now.
You know we have a quadra-billion tabs open and there are twice as many websites. We just can’t….finish a sentence without something else grabbing us.
No, I don’t think so.
The problem isn’t that we can’t concentrate on books. The problem is that we don’t want to concentrate on books. Everyone reads their favorite websites and their favorite movies and their favorite TV shows. People stream those all day long. Then they write long recaps about it. Our focus isn’t on reading. It’s on the content.
Our concentration isn’t the problem. Most books are boring. That’s the problem.
For the most part, books suck. It’s the common lament from kids and middle schoolers and high schoolers, and really they’re right.
Take it from the Slate article on our concentration.
In a recent survey of several hundred men and women over the age of 18, most respondents said they enjoyed print books more than e-books, though they were content to gather information from either format. The researchers suggested that pleasure reading requires a deeper engagement with the text, one facilitated by the kind of sustained, linear attention (and ability to annotate) that print books promote. In other words, when we bemoan that we don’t reeeeeaaad any more, we are mourning a specific kind of reading—and it is precisely this kind that seems to shimmer beyond our reach online.
Did you catch that? Pleasure reading requires a deeper engagement. And you know why people aren’t doing it anymore. Because they don’t know what to read.
We skip around so much because we’re bored with what we’re reading.
Literature hasn’t kept up with “THE WAY WE LIVE NOW.”
There’s still this weird thing in books where it’s wrong to talk about modern technology or modern experiences without saying something really “grand” about the world.
Most of those books have been relegated to “YOUNG ADULT” and then millions of adults are reading books about the influence of technology on our lives. That’s what Hunger Games and Divergent and TTYL are really doing. Explaining the way people interact with the world. Why it’s verboten to do that in serious literature doesn’t make any sense.
People will read. We are reading more than ever. We just have to package our “novels” and “poems” differently–that’s why I’m a big proponent of status update lit…content can live anywhere, whether that’s on in an ebook, on Tumblr, in a Facebook feed or wherever and it should tell a story there.
Just like TV and movies are shown in full on the Web, or in short Vimeo bursts or in the theater or in a box, our “fiction” has to do the same.
People are craving stories more than ever before.
Literature isn’t giving readers what they want. Writers haven’t moved fast enough. That needs to change.