Being a writer in 2017 is not easy. We have competition and not just from our fellow wordsmiths. How can a book compete with Netflix and Hulu and movies? I mean, I love books, duh, and I read a lot of them, but even I am a lover of movies. How could you not love movies? They’re so good lately.
Every medium of art has its strong suits, though. Books put out much more than a movie in terms of internal thought and themes. The visual medium cannot—easily at least—show abstract thoughts and internal change like a book can. Most major artforms tell stories, but a book is the most detailed way of presenting a tale.
But, I mean, really, the other art forms are not the problem, but it is fucking unfortunate many people don’t take in books like they used to. Even I don’t read as voraciously as I did when I was a little kid.
Even for me, sometimes it’s hard to find the time.
But, and I know this is a little predictable of a call to arms, we need to again. Books can be in other forms; they can be audio, they can be on your phone or your tablet. The act of using one’s mind to process words and derive complex situations from descriptions and create fictional people in one’s imagination is a skill we must not lose.
Because it is a skill, not just a triviality. In a movie, you have the characters represented by living or animated people—some of the work is done for you. And, that’s pleasant, do not get me wrong. But, it is also a worthwhile exercise to get your mind strengthened now and again by the weight of words.
And, yeah, I know I’m preaching to the choir here. I’m sure you can name off the top of your head some if not many benefits reading has, but I think I also wrote this for myself.
Because I am always making more words for others to read, and I love that I get to do that. Even when it is hard, I’m glad I have this ability and I get to wield it. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t worry about the future of the written word.
Especially its financial future. I want people to keep buying books, both for my own benefit and so kids grow up with the joys of reading.
We are living in an artistic golden age, honestly. The Second Renaissance. Like I wanted. But, books fulfill a unique need and can coexist with the other types of art. It won’t be a proper renaissance without books. They shouldn’t be left behind.
Or, really, I just hope they aren’t.