The Rubber Doll Of The Literary World
I wrote an editorial for the mag recently that was based around how people believe what they want to believe and that alone is enough to make something true. It was a little more complicated than that, but I've come to the realisation that people also simply believe whatever is put in front of their faces. For my own part, this last year I've spent a lot of time looking at whether people are reading real books or really are shifting to ebooks. I think a better question would be "are people even reading anymore?" I'm starting to doubt it but am also starting to realise that my original vision may be flawed in the first place. See, when I was in school, my over-riding memory when it came to books is of people getting into James Herbert and his Rats series. It was very popular. Some were hitting Stephen King (which was my preference when it came to horror) but we were also reading books that I'd fall of my chair if I saw my kids with. We were also reading books by Woody Allen, Clive James and David Niven. It wasn't unusual to take a book to school and when things got dull, you could slope off to a corner and lose yourself and nobody would think anything of it.
These habits were fuelled by very cheap second hand bookstores. Occasionally, something would be bought new but as I got older, books had to fight for their share of whatever money was around with albums.
All of that aside, I hardly ever see people reading anymore. Not even kindles. Not really. I see a lot of people with kindles sitting around looking smugly at me when I am reading and I know exactly what they're thinking. They're thinking "I've got a kindle" and they sit stroking their device like it's the holy grail of reading but there's no enjoyment of the book itself. I find it hard to believe that I once thought this was a great idea but I did - and I was wrong.
When is e-reading going to get sexy?