Well, I didn’t have to go very far to find my welcome-back-to-the-blogosphere deathknell. Fictionbitch calls this the end for writers, but I wonder if it’s more about the end for readers. The end of a nice sit down in a bookstore, that is, heralded by Waterstones — a British bookchain, from the sounds of it. I don’t think we have Waterstones, but I doubt that gives us much of an evolutionary advantage.
Still, the article ends on a high note by suggesting Waterstones may end up killing *itself*. Selling eReaders will wipe out the need for bookshops of any kind, apparently. (Unless someone comes up with a Red Room for eBooks, I suppose.)
I found one of the Waterstone article comments interesting: a parent who tells their child, ‘we don’t care what you read, just read something!’ Much as I want to encourage reading, I’ve always found this idea of the mystically transformative powers of reading kinda … short-sighted. My neighbour’s kid took to reading at the age of about eight. He read & read. What he was reading was the Harry Potter books, over & over again. Not sure if he ever did take to reading anything else.
Quite apart from that, he was one weird little kid.
The point is read, sure, and read widely. But be aware when reading that you may still come across garbage. And reading garbage is just as bad as watching garbage, listening to garbage or, indeed, eating garbage. Strictly, y’know, in my opinion.