Do people still read?

Discussion in 'Writers Forum' started by misterrain, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. misterrain

    misterrain Banned

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    Of course people still read! Why do you think that The Internet is so popular? It`s not just the porno-- people are reading and writing more than ever. Everyone here is reading and writing. If you are reading this, you might even be thinking of what to write in response. It`s still reading and writing... it`s not like it doesn`t `count`.

    Sure, people might not want to read books, but they do want words. Even if they`re totally incoherent, people still want to identify themselves through words... whether sang, spoken or written. So really, books are still very important. The only reason so many people stay away is because they don`t think that books are their `thing`.

    And really, that also includes me more often than not. There`s just very little out there that I can identify with. This is why I write... because I can`t stand or don`t have the patience for most of the shit that`s out there right now.

    In fact, I think that most of the people who say "nobody reads anymore" are writers who get upset because no one, or almost no one (AKA the writer`s two remaining audiences) wants to read what they write.

    But maybe this is because it`s boring and pretentious and doesn`t say anything new? So many writers nowadays write like they`re handing down the word of God or something... instead of like a human being using words to come to terms with the world around them.

    Imagine you`re a comedian, and you go onstage and tell all these jokes that you thought were really funny, and that your friends told you were funny... and nobody laughed. Would you say that nobody laughs anymore? Comedians blaming their audience for their own failures is really unprofessional... and it`s the same thing with writers.

    The problem is that no one is writing anything that lots of people want to read. They are writing for other pretentious jerks who have the same interests and the same sense of the world, which is actually very limited and usually very obvious.... not to mention outdated.

    The most fucked-up thing about people thinking nobody reads anymore is that almost everyone is still trying to be a writer, despite the fact that they have nothing to say except other stupid, pointless and negative things like `nobody reads anymore`.

    I think a lot of these people are attracted to the medium because it`s cheap, independent, and so relatively easy to do, though it`s really difficult to do well. Definitely more difficult than stringing together a bunch of pretty words, or writing superficially about superficial things (this includes superficial social commentaries and superficial philosophies as well), or writing about your trip to Europe or Asia (probably the sxame as every other trip to Europe or Asia), or ripping off some poet or writer you don`t know anything about in the first place.

    It`s also attractive because you get to be really self-indulgent and controlling. I guess even though they must know in their hearts that it`s not going to happen, they still do it on the off-chance that one day they will be famous, even if they don`t make much money. The problem is, so many people who try to write books don`t have the slightest idea what`s going on.

    More than ever, people are interested in what`s going on... mostly because nobody knows. People want to know how to be human, they want to know how everyone else is doing, they want to know why they should bother living at all... these are the things that writers should be concerned with. That, and being able to speak to people in a language that they can relate to.

    Anyway, if you read this, thanks a lot. if you got bored half-way through or less, I`m sorry. Have a nice day anyway.
     
  2. Oz!

    Oz! Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

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    As a writer i find two things to be truly fantastic at the moment...

    Kids read again, the best selling book(s) in the world are childrens books...JK Rowling has opened up a whole new world to the upcoming generation with her books...ensuring that their will be a huge market for fiction in the future...for us writers that is just amazing....the "audience" we write for is going to be huge and varied :) books are now more poplar than ever!!

    And yes, you are right, everyone (seemingly) is now a writer...the rise in popularity in blogs and online journals (not to mention easily accessable fiction from a myriad of unpublished authors) is just immense....the bar for "good writing" is constantly being raised, becoming a published author is now on par with the odds of winning the lottery...this can only be a good thing, the more competition the more publishers will have throw open the market and provide more variation on the themes available on the shelves..gone are the days of the same half dozen authors dominating the best seller lists...people are demanding more and more to suit their individual tastes...and i love it :D

    these, are indeed, the days to be a writer...we have more freedom, can more easily reach an readership and have more control over our the publication of our craft than ever before :)

    keep scribblin' !
     
  3. White Scorpion

    White Scorpion 4umotographer

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    misterain, I managed to read 'all' your article and must say quite liked it. You sound like a realist at heart, though, it's difficult for me to classify a human being as a 'this', or a 'that'. On certain points, I didn't agree with you, though you are quite correct in suggesting that if a writer wants to be succesful he has to reach to a wide audience.

    However, writers musn't give up because they're not worldly, inexperienced, or lack confidence to express what's inside them. Even if you're appealing to a limited market, you musn't give up. The majority aren't always correct. Socrates called the Athenian democracy: 'the tyranny of the majority' and if anyone as a writer, or artist, sells their ideals for half a pound of steak, then what has this person really gained from their experience in life? Is the luxury of success the real benchmark of a true artist? HP Lovecraft was snubbed until well after his death, van Gogh sold one painting and Mozart was buried in a pauper's grave.

    We all face criticism in our lives. None of us are perfect. I wrote a book about 1558 people that went missing in a treacherous war in Cyprus in 1974. Do I think for a moment that anyone in America, or Russia, or Papua New Guinea is interested? No, why should they? But that didn't stop me writing it. And I'm sure there are many people that may speak for a minority, perhaps yourself included, that will do the same thing about something they feel strongly about.

    I totally agree with your example of the comedian who's out of touch with his audience, but if young writers are sincere about their art and they can be open to what is going on around them, and be good listeners whenever the need arises, and of course read a bit too, then they will develop their technique and reach out further.
     
  4. JoneeEarthquake

    JoneeEarthquake Member

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    as long as people write
     
  5. Casperthesheet

    Casperthesheet Member

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    Good stuff!
     
  6. thrawn

    thrawn Member

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    I will always read. Theres really nothing better.

    White Scorpian man, Ive been gone so Im going to check out that story you had going. Peace brovs.
     
  7. squawkers7

    squawkers7 radical rebel

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    My mother got me hooked on libraries when I was in kindergarden & they are still 1 of my favorite places to go. Later while I was in high school I volunteered at our town's small library and also later at my kid's school library.

    Even tho I read alot, I hated giving oral book reports in class.
     
  8. veinglory

    veinglory Member

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    I think a hell of a lot of people still read books too--otherwise there wouldn't be so many huge bookstores all over town.
     
  9. ArnoldLayne

    ArnoldLayne Member

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    I only read books occasionally. And by occasionally, I mean almost never. Most books don't appeal to me. Reading used to be all I did when I was little, but my interests have somewhat 'evolved' for lack of a better word into writing. Most books lose my interest within minutes, but some books, such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, won't leave my attention until I'm done with them.
     
  10. Green

    Green Iconoclastic

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    My family reads, but I don't.
     

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