We are living in a rapidly changing world. It takes less and less time for a person to feel old. Games that are coming out mean less and less to me, as do the latest apps and trends. I have no idea how TikTok works. Is it like a new Vine? I am a dinosaur.
Anyway, the rapidly changing technology also affects other aspects of our lives. One of the things inevitably affected is literature. Here’s how.
Let’s not pretend that audiobooks are a new thing. They have been around ever before the cassette tape. If you don’t know what that is, congratulations – you are younger than audiobooks. E-books, on the other hand, are a totally different thing. While there is evidence of devices being made to read books electronically decades ago, it wasn’t until the PDF that people en masse could enjoy books in the electronic format. To be fair, I could be wrong, I’m writing this from memory.
The point is that you can listen to a book or read it on nearly any device nowadays. Pretty soon, it won’t matter that you forgot to bring your phone to the bathroom, you’ll probably be able to use the smart-faucet or whatever to enjoy books. I’m only half-joking – the Internet of Things is just going to get more intricate and connected. It’s just a matter of time.
Taking piracy into consideration, in addition to legitimate publications, it has been getting increasingly easy to reach out, search, and find books you are looking for. This includes textbooks, public domain novels, self-help books, biographies, and anything else you can think of.
This is very good news for the people living in underdeveloped or rural areas. The availability of books has never been higher. However, that also means that you could get lost or distracted by the number of books. Speaking of which…
Every Tom, Dick, or Harry can write a book and publish it. It is getting noticed that’s the problem. You can put yourself out there, but so can everyone else. In the sea of authors, the criteria for fine literature will keep changing and become far less specific and tangible.
Furthermore, books are getting published far more quickly. It is even faster when you take into consideration the aforementioned e-books. No printing is required, just properly format the text so that Kindle or something similar can recognize it and you’re on your way.
The Attention Span
As mentioned before, the world is changing rapidly. If you thought you had trouble concentrating, you may want to look again. Compared to some of the people today, you are practically a stoic. This is because it is becoming harder and harder to keep the people’s focus, so all media forms keep giving smaller and smaller chunks of entertainment.
It wouldn’t be too surprising if something like that affected the style of writing of an author. Sure, there are novels that are just parts of a gigantic series, but look at how they are written. Compare them, if you will, to the novels of a few hundred years ago, or even just a few decades. The writing is much more engaging, events are happening more rapidly and so we need more events and more descriptions. It’s not bad, I’m not complaining. It’s just a form of literary evolution. However, in spite of all this, there is still going to be a section of books devoted to classics.