“To read? Why would you want to read when you got the television set sitting right in front of you? There’s nothing you can get from a book that you can’t get from a television faster. “
Everything is too slow for the modern audience. We used to rent DVDs. It was too slow, so we pirated them, and they took too long to download. Now we stream movies in inferior quality because we prefer it to buffering.
Books haven’t escaped this trend. If an author’s manuscript contains a paragraph that’s more than five lines, I find myself splitting it. No one has the attention span, and no one cares.
High school English teachers are receiving essays writn lik dis. Kids are going to college and using their friends as citations. Misinformation is rampant, and statistics are completely exaggerated through Chinese whispers.
When the cash register malfunctions at work, the clerk does arithmetic on their phone. Basic math used to be an innate skill every adult possessed, and it was much faster than using a calculator.
I can’t even have a conversation without the aid of a smart phone. “Check out this video.” People can barely talk to one another without drawing on the internet for inspiration—not that anyone’s willing to pocket their phones to facilitate a conversation in the first place.
This same phone now replaces entire libraries. You can download the Kindle app and make books themselves obsolete. There will come a time when paper is so rare that the idea of a traditional book seems completely extravagant.
Publishers now omit necessary punctuation. It saves money on ink. Likewise, manuscripts with shorter words are considered more profitable. The more white space, the better. Every aspect of the editorial process is outsourced.
Writers from underprivileged countries make up the bulk of books on Amazon. I know this because I compete with them every day. No one wants to hire an expensive native speaker when they can hire a foreigner with a diploma of English for a fraction of the price.
Phrases like I good in English are used in freelancer’s interviews. This broken English eventually makes its way into print, and finally, the dictionary. Sixty percent of the English language is just recycled Latin to begin with.
We need to read while our books are still books.
No one reads any more…..
Words by JD Roberts