I’ve been a bit of a book slut lately. I see a book, there is lust. I buy the book and take it home; I eagerly open its pages and then… I pretend to fall asleep and in the morning I quietly put it back on the shelf and hope it doesn’t notice.
I talked to some other Book Rioters who’ve been experiencing the same thing. Some of us are having a hard time giving a long-term commitment to a book. I’ve written about this several times, and I know what the solution is, but it’s SO HARD TO DO. The solution is to make yourself work through a book – just one. Just take the time that’s needed to finish it; be patient with yourself and with the book and you’ll make it through and (often) will be glad you did. It’s kind of like human relationships.
I recently heard that one of the reasons we have troubles finishing books now-a-days is because we have crap loads of entertainment at our fingertips. We have Twitter, Facebook, Netflix, Instagram, cable, texting, e-mailing, YouTube, and so much more. Is it any wonder that it’s hard to give a book the time it needs to grab our ever shrinking attention? And will it ever be possible for a book to stimulate the parts of our brains that these instantaneous electronic forms of entertainment do? (I don’t know, I’m not a doctor – I’m seriously asking this question.)
I’m not saying that book reading is not entertaining. And, of course, I’m not implying that it’s a lesser form of entertainment. What I’m saying is, in a world where teachers have a harder and harder time engaging students who find the learning process so un-stimulating, will books continually have a harder time engaging readers who are overstimulated in their everyday lives. Many of us say we’d like to simplify, but what if that means more work, not less? More brainpower? More commitment?
Before the naysayers reply to this post: think about the last time you sat down for a four hour reading marathon without checking your smart phone every now and then. Now think of the last time you sat down for a Mad Men, Arrested Development, House of Cards, (Fill-in-the-Blank) marathon and didn’t check your phone unless it buzzed at you.
Just think about it.
Sign up for our newsletter to have the best of Book Riot delivered straight to your inbox every two weeks. No spam. We promise.