The Questionable Future of Reading and Books
George Ure and Gaye Levy, Contributors
May 6, 2012
George is in Macon, Georgia this weekend for the National Association of Newspaper Columnists and a couple of interesting trends caught his eye – things that any person leading a “Strategic Life” would find interesting. We thought it would be enlightening to share his notes.
(Macon, GA) Reading is in trouble, or at least it’s in the process of radical change. Not that it has come up as a topic in and of itself at this year’s gathering of opinionated word-slingers, but it has been a consistent underlying theme.
As it turns out, the revolution in desktop publishing – which includes platforms like the WordPress blogging software – has dramatically increased the amount of written material available. Professional writers worry about such things, because while most make a basic living writing for newspapers, about half augment their income by writing books; and it’s here that the world is changing.
For one thing, the amount of time people spending reading has become much more “chopped up” over the past decade or so. Incoming emails, pings, IMs, and all those computer-driven distractions have caused one publishing house to command its workers to turn off email and online accounts at work.