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New media or not, people still want books

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Old 05-17-2012, 08:41 PM
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Default New media or not, people still want books


The emphasis on new media might lead one to believe that the very act of reading has changed in recent years. One would presume that writing would follow suit in turn. However, look at the context of it all, and it would seem that not much has changed, even with new technology.

That people's approach to reading in general has changed recently is the subject of this article. In a nutshell, the author says that since everybody does their reading in bite-sized chunks on social networks rather than in books and magazines, the nature of the book is bound to follow suit sooner or later. The picture book is the way of the future, according to him, since these are the easiest to make and to digitize. Then, there is this odd idea:

the future of fiction is far more apt to look like an annotated chat conversation than anything else. Why? Because the conversation can be played out by the authors at their convenience and then be made available for feedback, comments, insight, etc. in near real time by their audience.
I rather suspect that people are already doing this. I also suspect that it has not taken a form that can be monetized, nor that such a process is as sure to create works of quality as traditional editing and other vetting procedures are.

A less recent article on the same web site quotes one executive as saying that print is still the core business of publishing. That's a rather reassuring thought. I have long maintained that the heavy expenses involved in printing and distribution make it necessary for publishers to weed out all but the very best material, and work hard to make it even better, before bringing it to the market. The reading public might be happy to make forum posts, tweets, Facebook Wall updates, and the like; but they are still willing to pay money for something good.

In conclusion, new technology or not, and self-published or not, you still need to know how to write well and you still need to expend every effort to create the best possible work.

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Old 05-19-2012, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Another Editor View Post

The reading public might be happy to make forum posts, tweets, Facebook Wall updates, and the like; but they are still willing to pay money for something good.

In conclusion, new technology or not, and self-published or not, you still need to know how to write well and you still need to expend every effort to create the best possible work.

Overall the reading public wouldn't know good writing from bad and they have repeatedly shown they are willing to shell out money for pure shit.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Gaines View Post
Overall the reading public wouldn't know good writing from bad and they have repeatedly shown they are willing to shell out money for pure shit.
I think that could be said for younger readers like those who adore the whole Twilight saga. It's more her topic that catches the imagination rather than her amazing writing style (insert sarcasm freely). But isn't it possible that as those readers mature and their tastes expand beyond Meyer's work, they will come to expect more from their reading experinece?
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by donnaf View Post
I think that could be said for younger readers like those who adore the whole Twilight saga. It's more her topic that catches the imagination rather than her amazing writing style (insert sarcasm freely). But isn't it possible that as those readers mature and their tastes expand beyond Meyer's work, they will come to expect more from their reading experinece?
I believe that this expanding in tastes as people grow mature relies heavily on the education offered to these people. For example, if you manage to get yourself to university, you're already more likely to know Twilight isn't really what you'd call a literary artwork. Especially because the university confronts you with scientific articles, if you follow any so called Beta course, or, if you follow a language course, higher levels of literature such as William Shakespeare.
The majority of the world population however is not capable of making it to university or college and will be less likely to be confronted with the real artworks of literature. These people will be stuck on the level of Meyer's work and will never really learn to expect more, simply because they believe they are already as high as you can get.

Secondly if someone were to tell a lower educated person about William Shakespeare, the lower educated person would not even dare to begin reading it, simply because William Shakespeare is to hard to comprehend. People who are not interested in writing, reading, language etc. will not even consider trying to figure out the meaning to every line of Shakespeare, simply because it scares them.

So overall I believe it's a case of "to be or not to be literate". If that made any sense.
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:25 PM
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I don't think education necessarily has to do with appreciation of good literature. I know many people who went to universities that don't read at all. I think it has to do more with what you expose yourself to as a reader. If you don't branch out, your tastes won't improve. I don't think you need a college telling you what to read in order to grow. It's just that books such as twilight appeal to the non-readers out there who wouldn't typically pick up a book.

That being said I did read, and for the most part enjoy twilight. I understood it wasn't the best written work out there. But she does have a way of making you feel like everything is happening to you.

Last edited by Ember; 05-19-2012 at 06:31 PM..
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:21 AM
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I like books.
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Ember View Post
I think it has to do more with what you expose yourself to as a reader. If you don't branch out, your tastes won't improve. I don't think you need a college telling you what to read in order to grow.
Of course you don't need college to tell you what to read, but what I was trying to say was that people who do get told what to read would sooner go into "advanced reading" than those who don't. As I said before, people who didn't read advanced reading, will be afraid to read Shakespeare.

Then again I think you make a valid point by stating that going to college doesn't mean you will appreciate literature more and vice versa. With that said, I'm very sure that you can convince non-college students to read higher level literature and that they too will be able to appreciate it.
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