or a bit of kvetching…(it is what it is, call it what you please)
yes. it’s a long read. go for it…
Okay, so I am pondering what seems to be days on end about this: What impact does the pandemic have on reading?
Are there more or fewer people actually reading books? Have more and more people turned to quick fixes by reading bits and blurbs, or just taking in a few headlines or images on various sites and blogs? Have our concentration spans become tweeted down to that of a gnat?
From actually reading what is being written in actual sites do people just skim over the titles or peruse the title or an image in a feed or in some other multi site aggregator? The devolution from gourmet to fast food hit the books.
There are no veritable sources for this kind of info. You cant dip your nose into everyone’s household and tally up their reading habits to really understand what’s what. However, it is a topic of concern.
I read, avidly. It’s my ‘thing’. I like to observe the trends, what’s trending, how they are marketed, what roles books are playing or could play in society. It is a fast changing world. Are online publishers the ‘thing’ now more than ever? Are brick and mortar book stores going to regain their strength worldwide once again?
Where I live, in Greece, we are one whole year in lockdown, with the exception of a summer break off from lockdown which turned out to be a disaster. Schools recently reopened after being closed for months. Our economy is in shambles. Literally. Television here has declined to mind numbing jibberish. How good can that be for those locked up in lock down? People here end up constantly binge watching netflix or spending incredible amount of time on you tube for days on end. Book shops are closed. Most don’t have an online presence. Are people in these situations reading actual ‘take them off the shelf’ books? Or are they reading whatever they read online. It’s a habit that is easy to get used to. Looks grim.
Will ‘physical’ bound and paged books made from paper (as in cut down trees, I know) and printed with ink be a thing of the past soon?
Are books going to become tomorrow’s rotary dialed telephones? You know, becoming obsolete, then vintage, then just some of those untouched ‘what do you do with this’ things that are will end up displayed on a shelf for their aesthetic value or stuffed in a box in the attic?
“Oscar Wilde said that if you know what you want to be, then you inevitably become it – that is your punishment, but if you never know, then you can be anything. There is a truth to that. We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing – an actor, a writer – I am a person who does things – I write, I act – and I never know what I am going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.” – Stephen Fry
To me, living your life focusing on what you are, such as “I am a writer” instead of living life focusing on what you do, like “I write”, is like being trapped in a cage high in the sky thinking that you are flying freely.
Stephen Fry has a way with words. Aside from amazing acting, he writes well. In his book Mythos he ‘retells’ Greek myths for today’s adults.