Are Books Different Now?

FrontCover_finalI like books.

Anyone who knows me will attest to this. I like good books, bad books, in virtual form or no. I like the smell of books, the way they look, and the way they feel in your hands, even when they’re on the Kindle, because I’m a freaky little bitch like that. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.

I just like books, damnit.

So it should come as no surprise then to learn that I think about them a lot, too. Like… pretty much constantly. In the shower, on the toilet. Whilst sailing my yacht, even though I don’t own one, wouldn’t know how to sail one even if I did. Holy crap, was that guy pissed. I mean Jesus Christ.

Anyhow, one question I’ve found myself asking a lot lately is this:

Has the easy accessibility of books these days shaped the way we read/write them?

Think about it: before the invention of Kindle and print-on-demand services, the only way to get your hands on a book was to either order one online and wait days/weeks for it to arrive, or mosey on down to the local Barnes & Noble/Waterstones to pick one up personally. And because of how cheaply Kindle allows us authors to put up our books nowadays, they’re usually a lot cheaper, too.

In other words, you were invested.

But now, with the time between finding a book and having it in your hands (at least, digitally) literally now reduced to a mere couple seconds or so, it begs the question: are we more inclined to pass over a book that doesn’t immediately snag our attention? And more importantly: how does that translate for us authors, and for books in general?

With the need to sink that hook early on becoming more and more prominent as readers’ attention spans shrink like nuts in the wind, will authors’ approach to the story-crafting process grow to reflect this?

Me? I have no clue. I am not an authority on anything, and nor should I be. I just make the words come out, people.

So being, I put it to you: have books changed to accommodate our dwindling attention spans? Has reader trends pushed this change, and will we see a change in books in future to reflect this?

Please discuss.





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