When I was a kid, the other kids used to tease me about being a bookworm. No one I know uses that term anymore. They refer to people who have their heads in books as nerds or geeks or something but, more to the point, very few people actually read actual books anymore. Yet, books are being published by the thousands…millions. All kinds of books from cookbooks to mysteries to self help to, well, to marketing books.
I love books but with Twitter and Facebook and blog posts that rarely go past five paragraphs, I find that I don’t have that much desire to read a full length book. That still doesn’t prevent me from buying them, though. I love to rummage through my local Barnes and Noble or Borders. I really enjoy Amazon.com.
You know why?
The marketing hype on the back or on the inside sleeves just makes me drool. Amazon.com is the best. Their marketing and rave reviews from “readers” (who may or may not be shills for the author) make each and every book sound like a must have. I get sucked in by a lot of it. Even worse is when someone else recommends the book and I think I’ll like it and, lo and behold, the book sucks or it’s written poorly or something. Bottom line: I don’t even get through it.
The real deal, though, is that unless I’m reading some mystery or compelling fiction, I get bored. Even with fiction, I’m shouting (in my head), “Get to the point, already!!” I’ve grown restless with the fast food, commercialization of the written word. Tell me what you want me to know and don’t make me wait for it.
Gone are the days when I could lose myself in the plot and character development or the ideas being expressed by authors. In fact, one of my biggest weaknesses is that my mind is racing through all kinds of other thoughts about my “to do” list or “Did I take care of Task A or Task B?’ or ”What’s for dinner?” Yes, I find it hard to concentrate. So I end up reading the same page over and over and over which frustrates me even more.
I wish I could turn the clock back to the day when I would devour two or three books a week. They may not have been earth shattering or philosophically breathtaking but it’s where I learned to write. Writers read. That’s what I’ve always heard. I need to get back into it…and stay awake.
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