In Defense of Books

Why tweets, blog posts, texts, and magazines only take us so far.

We’re all really busy these days. We skim articles and blog posts, rush through e-mails, pick up occasional tweets, and fast forward through commercials from shows on our DVRs. Sign of the times…

Some are claiming that many books are no longer relevant. By books, I mean the 250-page or so texts that develop an idea that no blog post, article, podcast, or video can. Think The Long Tail or Blink. We’re just too overwhelmed. We have time to read the reviews and get the gist of things. That’s about it.

Maybe that is true. Some say that the book has gone the way of the album, a relic of a bygone era. We just want the songs. Today, few of us want to experience the entirety of a complete work like Dark Side of the Moon.

It’s hard for me to accept the notion that no longer books no longer matter. Perhaps this is my own conceit or delusion. Maybe I just don’t want to believe this. I have written a fourth book and just don’t want to believe that it’s going to fall on deaf ears. (More on this soon. I promise.)

Simon Says

When our time and attention is so valuable, it’s a commitment to read a proper text, especially for attention-challenged folks like me. But that’s the whole point. Books are important precisely because they aren’t consumable in an hour. Yes, you miss out on a bevy of blog posts and a torrent of tweets by reading a book.

And for that you are rewarded by reading the author’s message and existing it his/her universe for the duration of the book.

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