Long Live the Book

Am I the only one that feels like the written word is getting shorter and shorter these days? Or at least our attention span for the written word. I found an interesting blog yesterday from an author who writes 299-word novels. A whole novel in one paragraph. In this culture, brevity wins.

We’ve gone from indepth magazine articles to USA Today-style newspapers to simply scanning the online news headlines. Even long emails are prone to be unread. Text messaging a few words or letters is a ubiquitous form of communication, especially with the youngest generation.

But there is nothing like a good book. Books often take me to another place or another level. I enjoy that soul connection with the author or the characters.  They bring me fresh ideas, fresh perspectives. I worry that if fewer people are reading, fewer people are thinking new thoughts.

Are books still a part of your life? What is your all-time favorite book? What are you reading these days (online or otherwise) that makes your day function better or just makes your day? Do you think you’ll be reading books online or on your phone one day, or do you, like me, love the feel of the book in your hands while curled up in a sunny spot?

2 responses to “Long Live the Book

  1. You touched a favorite subject of mine, the shortening of the written word. But more important, you mentioned, “if fewer people are reading, fewer people are thinking new thoughts.” That’s a brilliant reduction of the situation. The first draft of my novel was 274,000 words. I fought my editor down to 204,000 and would go no lower. Thankfully, the publisher agreed. Shorter isn’t necessarily better. It’s just shorter. My goal is to write worthy books that stretch to the 1000 page mark. We’ll see. In the mean time, I’m at http://www.bentpage.wordpress.com.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Daniel. I enjoyed your travel commentary and blog entries. Congrats on your novel. I’m working on a book myself (nonfiction) and am finding the details, though adding length, add the necessary color to carry the message. There are still readers out there as you have found!

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