Why Your Attention Span Is A Great Excuse For Someone Else’s Failure

I wasn’t well last week, and ended up feeling dreadfully sorry for myself. Now, there’s nothing on earth can feel quite as sorry for itself as an Irish woman, so it can get quite dark. Anyhoo, as I lay prostrate, bemoaning the state of both my health and my immediate prospects, my lamentations eventually began to transfer themselves to the world outside as well.

And it’s a dark world, lads and lassies. Society is broken. Rent asunder by social media, reality television, celebrity gossip and cat memes. As a race, we have developed the attention span of a hungover goldfish. We can’t concentrate on anything longer than a Buzzfeed article called 21 Things Only People Who Wore Purple Underpants In 1991 Will Understand. And nobody reads full novels anymore.

My last post on e-book reading statistics – the fact that we now have access to better statistics not only on what books people are buying, but also whether they finish them or not – raised a few questions, namely: Are people not finishing books these days because their attention span is shot? Or are they not finishing books because the books just aren’t good enough?

The “Can’t Even” Era

We can say that we’re busier, or that we have more distractions. But there are other things afoot, such as more competition to entertain us. Once, we might have paid attention to stuff we didn’t find particularly interesting, because there was nothing else more immediately attractive. Now we don’t have to. Social, geographical and economical barriers to media have disappeared. So much information is available to us on so many different channels that we can now choose whether or not to consume it.

Embed from Getty Images

And it doesn’t always follow that short attention-span stuff always wins. Look at the rise and rise of complex, slow or long-form TV like The Wire, Breaking Bad or Mad Men; see how binge-watching TV or binge-buying books in the same series has become a ‘thing’. If people really like something, they don’t hang about, waiting for the next instalment. They make time for it right now and they become wholly – almost fanatically – focused upon it.

In the olden days, we read what we had and thought that was it. Now we’re conscious that there might always be something better out there – or at least, something more attractive. Gone are the days when we all watched the same TV or read the same books, because they were all we had.

But that still doesn’t necessarily explain how, having chosen a book, we don’t finish it. So why is that?

1. Books aren’t as valuable as they were. 

When books were more expensive, we had no choice but to read what we bought or borrowed. But now, we can download 10 free books during a toilet break. We may not read them. But we can still download them. (Whether or not making a book free devalues it to the extent we never read it is a whole different post.)

2. There are more books out there.

More authors are releasing books independently, meaning more books are being published. And much as we might hate to admit it, a substantial quantity of this might be badly edited, badly marketed, or just bad. We might get two chapters into a book, realise it hasn’t been edited properly, and run for the hills. I know I have.

3. Power has shifted.

We’re no longer solely dependent on big publishing houses with big budgets and connections with book critics to tell us what to read. And we don’t feel as beholden to sticking with a book the critics said we should read because we want to look intelligent.

4. Not All People Are Some.

So some people don’t finish some books. More do. Some people love big literary prize-winners. More don’t. I’ve given books to people with gushing recommendations and seen them go all squirmy-eyebrowed when asked for their verdict. Not everybody who consumes the stuff is going to like the stuff, dammit. Stop being all bothered about it.

5. Because The Internet.

Here’s the one point which might actually have to do with attention span: we are less willing to invest time into something which may not suit us. There’s such a barrage of information thrown at us these days, we’ve got used to making rapid judgements about articles and books based on a synopsis or first paragraph. And we’re less willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt if we suspect they might bore us.

Why Blaming Your Attention Span Is A Great Excuse For Failure

I don’t see what’s wrong with any of this. We’ve developed new and necessary survival skills in the Information Age, and it suits some authors brilliantly, as much as it makes others cry into their gruel. There are winners and losers in every cultural shift, and not always for reasons immediately apparent to mere mortals. The only thing that is certain is that the way we consume entertainment is changing. And there’s no point at all in sitting around moaning about it. Even if we have good reason to feel sorry for ourselves.

  215 comments for “Why Your Attention Span Is A Great Excuse For Someone Else’s Failure

  1. June 16, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Yep, life is too short to read a bad book.

    Liked by 3 people

    • June 16, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Or indeed to think about the calories in a Toffifee, Lorna, which is my most pressing problem this morning.

      Liked by 4 people

    • J
      August 12, 2015 at 1:52 am

      I wish I felt that way! I always have the opposite feeling – I suffer through many bad books because I’ve committed and somehow still need to know how it ends.

      Liked by 2 people

      • August 12, 2015 at 10:25 am

        I know that feeling all too well. And then you feel like you’re never going to get that time back. So I sometimes end up doing a sort of speed-reading thing where I only scan the right hand side of each paragraph. It usually does the job.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. June 16, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Hope you’re feeling better by the time you read this…though a good bout of illness-induced self-pity can be soul cleansing from time to time.

    I think you make some excellent points. Free downloads have, I believe, contributed greatly to “it’s free so if I don’t read it, big whoop” syndrome. Hence, my refusal to price my own books at that easily-dismissed price. I want people to put a little muscle into it, dammit, and really want the thing, enough to pay a few bucks and feel financially obligated (whatever it takes in these book-glutted times! ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

    The only thing that makes me not finish a book (and it’s a rare thing) is a book that’s so effing bad, or so utterly pointless I literally feel I will lose years off my life if I endure one more word. I’ve had that happen only four or five times in recent years, which is not bad, considering I read a lot.

    I do think the lower prices and intangible nature of ebooks has made them seem less visceral and real, less important, less worthy of time and attention. I love my Kindle, read most of my books on Kindle, but It takes a really good writer to jump off the Kindle page. Delightfully, I’ve read several that have and that’s something to cheer. But maybe what’s worse than not finishing a book IS finishing a book and discovering the author left you with a really shitty ending. Then you really do feel bamboozled. That’s happening too much lately, which sucks. If you’re going to go the distance, there’s gotta be a payoff. Words to the wise for me and my fellow scribes…

    Feel better!!

    Liked by 6 people

    • June 16, 2015 at 10:06 am

      I’ve been thinking a lot about book pricing lately, Lorraine, and plan to do a post on it soon from a reader’s perspective… and your point about ‘jumping off the Kindle page’ is very important. In the meantime, I’m still feeling sorry for myself, but not half as much as I was 48 hours ago. Small steps make a long journey more annoyingly philosophical, or something…

      Liked by 3 people

      • June 16, 2015 at 2:41 pm

        I will be very interested in that post, since I argue often on the topic of book pricing (not a fan of the wholesale devaluation of creative work…even as a consumer of it!). And glad you’ve halved your pain; it’s all uphill from there!

        Liked by 5 people

        • June 16, 2015 at 4:15 pm

          There may even be more than 1 post on it, Lorraine. The more stuff I pile onto my Kindle, the more opinions I seem to have on the whole subject ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Liked by 1 person

          • June 16, 2015 at 4:19 pm

            Given your sassy attitude about most things, I’m curious about what you have to say on the topic. It’s one that gets my goat for a variety of reasons, so I’ll be waiting! ๐Ÿ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Ben
    June 16, 2015 at 9:29 am

    “a substantial quantity of this might be badly edited, badly marketed, or just bad. We might get two chapters into a book, realise it hasnโ€™t been edited properly, and run for the hills. I know I have.” Ditto! Have some self respect people and edit, edit, edit. Writing IS editing!

    Liked by 3 people

    • June 16, 2015 at 10:08 am

      I still can’t get over the number of people who think their writing is above editing, Ben. I have a special cage in my house where I plan on putting these same people as soon as I capture them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

  4. June 16, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Glad you’re on the mend, Tara. Self-pity parties have their place but someone has to do the cleaning up and bring the bottles to the recycling site eventually.

    Liked by 4 people

    • June 16, 2015 at 11:12 am

      Couldn’t have put it better, Tenderness. And oh my, don’t those bottles make a clatter when crashing finally into the depths of that bin.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. June 16, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Glad you’re feeling better! Skimming through your post, I just wanted to say —
    ooh, cupcakes!

    Liked by 3 people

    • June 16, 2015 at 11:14 am

      I should hope so, Nicholas. I hope you didn’t miss the bit in the middle fifth of the post that referenced that really important thing. That was especially for you. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 3 people

      • June 16, 2015 at 11:26 am

        Whaaat, I now have to go back and read the whole thing?? Oh fine, then I–
        ooh, tea!

        Liked by 4 people

        • June 16, 2015 at 11:32 am

          Lest you forget, there’s a bright shiny thing just over there. And a puppy juggling clown noses… did you say you were sending me cupcakes?

          Liked by 3 people

  6. June 16, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I’m really suspicious of cheap books, in the same way that I’m suspicious about cheap perfume. I don’t like wasting money, and all those 99p downloads will add up. I read a lot of Amazon reviews before purchasing, which can be as entertaining as any book, and yes, I usually finish reading all my books… unless they are truly dreadful.

    Liked by 4 people

    • June 16, 2015 at 11:16 am

      I’m with you there, Scarlet. I’ve a question for you, though, as a Finisher. Are there any books you regret finishing? As in, do you ever come across a book you hope will improve – only to find that it doesn’t? Or that a review promised you something it didn’t deliver?

      Liked by 2 people

      • June 16, 2015 at 11:36 am

        Ha! Yes! This year has been a bad year for disappointing books! My fault for trying a new genre. One was described as ‘Clever and addictive’ by The Guardian…. and it wasn’t at all, another was a Richard and Judy bestseller (I should have known better with this one). I’ve learnt not to trust the newspaper reviews – The Times ones are rubbish. I now tend to take note of the 3 star Amazon reviews and make my mind up from them.
        But no, I don’t regret finishing these books…. they still gave me the satisfaction of knowing I was right about them when I was only half way through. Crikey, I’m not even sure what I mean by that!?!??

        Liked by 3 people

        • June 16, 2015 at 12:32 pm

          Oh, dear. A bad run indeed and fair play to you for finishing regardless. You should never be punished for trying a new genre!

          I agree with you wholeheartedly on newspaper reviews – even when reviewers and I like the same books we like it for incompatible reasons. And I’m a huge fan of the 3-star review. I wish more authors realised that they sell more books based on measured 3-star reviews than gushing, trite, 5-star reviews.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. June 16, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Love your posts! Great points raised. I hope you feel better soon ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. June 16, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    All of the above is true, Including the comments. We have become a ‘throwaway society’ albums, books, videos, DVDs , cassettes … all gone now, nothing tangible. There is a phenomenal amt of crap out there. As you know I write a chick lit book blog. Out of all I’ve read lately, I don’t post half the reviews on my blog, I put them on Amazon or Goodreads. Since I haven’t been asked for them, I have no reason to publicly shout ‘ could possibly have done with a tighter edit’ as I’ve put in a load of Amazon reviews lately. Also as a regretful self publisher, I think there is too much average crap out there, I don’t know how I Feel about this, people have every right to see their name in print, but it’s taking away from the incredibly talented authors out there who are struggling to get people to notice their books. And yes, I am included in that, maybe my rejection letters weren’t a paving path to teach me how to graft, maybe sometimes we’re just not good enough. Maybe it’s not just a short attention span, maybe it’s a sense of entitlement – we think that we deserve better!Hope the Tofiffees are going down well, Tara, forget calories for this week, if I had chocolate , I’d frigging murder it right now!!ps I’m a finisher, just to give the author a chance!;)

    Liked by 3 people

    • June 16, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      I wouldn’t publicly criticise the editing if it’s been professionally done – I know it’s not always easy to tell, but it’s not an author’s fault if they’ve engaged somebody in good faith who turned out to be crappy. But if the editing is truly awful or non-existent, why shouldn’t you say it in a review? You would never publish your books without having them edited, so some standard has to be maintained.

      And in the case of the average crap, I find myself increasingly able to tell – and thus avoid – from the marketing. Bad, pushy, or downright annoying marketing of books has begun to annoy me just as much as bad editing!


  9. June 16, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    I second all of that. I’ve only had my iPad mini a year. I have noticed that I use it for two purposes โ€“ one, to buy long classics that I don’t want to heave about; two, to buy books that I would otherwise not have looked at. In this second category I have found and enjoyed new authors and genres and also rejected others after a couple of chapters (but at least I bought their books).

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 16, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      That’s very interesting, Hilary, that your iPad serves a niche in your reading habits. I wonder if it will end up influencing your reading choices down the line – if you end up using it more, will this mean you’ll be reading more of those books you wouldn’t otherwise have looked at?


  10. June 16, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    I saw the headline about attention span and couldn’t be bothered reading any further. It reminds me of the old joke: what’s the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don’t know, and I don’t care.

    Actually, I tell a lie, I did read it all. My solution to not finishing a book is not to start one in the first place. I’ve only had a problem with one author and that’s Umberto Eco. I made a great start with The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum, trudged through The Island of the Day Before and then it all went a bit Hemingway. Haven’t finished one of Eco’s since. Layer upon layer upon layer, and as Sir Humphrey Appleby once said ‘you never get to the point!’

    On a personal note, I’d love to hear about people buying my novels and not finishing them. Once they’ve handed over the cash they can do what they want. (I wish they’d hand over the cash…)

    Book prices, yes I’ll add to the pressure on you to write that post. Come on, hurry up and get better.


    Liked by 1 person

    • June 16, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      I’m doing my best here, Chris, but pessimism is a powerful force. I must stop mainlining it.

      I think you did admirably with Umberto. I only read In The Name Of The Rose and I loved it, but I was never even tempted by his others, so at least you tried.

      If only Sir Humphrey had written a book. With copious footnotes from Bernard.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Alex Hurst
    June 17, 2015 at 3:08 am

    I suspect it’s all much of what you mentioned: if something fails to grab us by the end of the first page or chapter, we sort of abandon it. There is a choice now, and readers have taken on the edict that no bad book is worth wasting your time on. Reading lists are longer than some people’s lifespans: there’s simply too much out there that IS good to waste time on what isn’t working for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 17, 2015 at 10:32 am

      Exactly, Alex. There may be something in the fact that we no longer stick with things, waiting for them to grab us: maybe we do want instant gratification. But with so many forms of entertainment willing to supply it, why should we hang around?

      Liked by 2 people

  12. June 17, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Even in your sick bed you hit the spot. Oooo hope you haven’t got a rash! When I first had a kindle the amount of free or 99p books seemed to me like a kiddie being in a sweet shop, but many turned out to be gob stoppers and not worth the effort. Now I’m much more choosy as I just don’t have as much reading time as I used to. Increasingly I’m reading indi published books hoping what goes around comes around. Get well soon. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 18, 2015 at 10:37 am

      Hopefully the payoff from indie books is also great entertainment, Yvonne! Yes, this book pricing issue is a real gobstopper in itself… I will be chewing on this presently…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. June 22, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I know there’s a lot of talk about not finishing books nowadays. I confess to having been a non-finisher if something didn’t grab me from when I was about 3 and that’s not today or yesterday!

    Be sweet and kind to yourself and keep smiling!

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 23, 2015 at 8:58 am

      I used to be a chronic finisher – I never let a book beat me, no matter how bad it was. But I’ve changed. Now I’m just a chronic moaner ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

  14. June 28, 2015 at 4:10 am

    I’ve said before that it seems that our forms of entertainment are having to become more and more extreme to keep us interested. Look at movies, the size of the disasters are magnifying and the villians more villainous (naturally things like CGI and better special effects make it tempting to film makers). At entertainment parks, roller coasters are becoming increasingly radical, faster, narrower, twisted and dangerous. Fiction reads, too, are evidently required to be increasingly fantastical or they’re labeled boring and forgotten.

    Why is this? Are we becoming numb and unfeeling so that like a horror movie aficionado we need to experience extremity to know we are alive? Are we in a Roman Colosseum phase? Or perhaps this increase in extremity is merely reflecting the fear we feel about the world around us?

    Amateur psychology.

    Anyway, one wonders where all of this is leading.

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 28, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      I think it’s in the nature of visual entertainment to always want to be bigger, shinier, and louder. As you say, in movies especially, as special effects develop so rapidly (and impressively). I’m not sure this applies to books, but I think fashion does, to an extent. Something becomes popular, has a few years of glory, and then recedes into the background. The glorious bonkbusters and conspiracy thrillers of the 1980s, for instance, haven’t had another heyday since – but I believe they will again. It all comes in waves and cycles… if we’re lucky, we might get to ride the next one!

      Liked by 2 people

      • June 28, 2015 at 5:28 pm

        Maybe it’s everything that involves technology (entertainment is a natural focus, of course, because we value it so highly). There’s always this drive to make things better in every way, and that’s great, but the downside is that we are rarely completely satisfied because we expect more. Which is why our electronic gadgets go obsolete so quickly. Would we even be able to adjust to the world of 100 years ago?

        Liked by 1 person

        • June 29, 2015 at 9:15 pm

          Judging by the continuing popularity of both historical fiction and fiction published historically, we might be surprised!

          Liked by 1 person

  15. agesgist
    August 11, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Reblogged this on agesgist.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. August 11, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Being a non-finisher, I proudly declare that I actually read your full post. whoa!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. August 11, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    This is an amazing blog. Loved it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • August 11, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      Just so you know, I’m a complete sucker for comments like that.

      Liked by 2 people

      • August 11, 2015 at 7:03 pm

        Haha its okay. I feel you. But seriously your blog just caught my attention. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Guy
    August 11, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    I think you have some great points, and I’m always happy to read something about shortening attention spans that doesn’t sound like an apocalyptic prophecy. I think the competition has become much fiercer than it used to be way back when commitment to things was a more serious matter, and some can’t handle it so they blame the technology rather than understand the changes it brought. I’ve noticed a similar thing with people saying kids have become rude nowadays because they stick to their online friends rather than hang out with their parents/grandparents/uncles/pet fish, but now I realise I’m rambling excessively and I will stop now.
    Anyway, I liked the article!

    Liked by 2 people

    • August 11, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      Thanks, Guy, glad you liked it. It does seem convenient to blame the technology, or consumers, or the kids, doesn’t it? I blame the parents. (Kidding.)

      Liked by 1 person

  19. August 11, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I cannot bear kindle!! I like holding a book in my hands and reading it. Old-school type.

    Liked by 3 people

    • August 11, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      Imagine people now being considered old school just because we like paper books. Maybe we should call it hipster and wait for the stampede?

      Liked by 1 person

  20. August 11, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    I loved your post, and the comments are enlightening too. I believe if a book is well written it will gain the reader’s attention – and keep it.
    I mostly read my books on Kindle now, but that’s for convenience more than anything. I have read long sections of books only to become so bored I couldn’t finish them. But that was the case whether a paperback or an E version.
    I am about three years into writing my first effort of a book, and one day I’ll finish it. My mission will be to do just that, and I’ll worry whether anybody starts or finishes it should I ever actually finish it!
    Your views were really interesting so I’m off now to read (and finish) more of your posts! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 2 people

    • August 11, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      I think the key to all of this is not to worry at all. If all writers worried about people finishing their books (or I worried about people finishing my posts) we’d get paralysed and no creative good would come of it! I’m prescribing a massive chill pill to the Internet at large, and some nice cake. And a hug. But that’s because you said nice things and I’m not feeling myself. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  21. August 11, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Hope you feel better

    Liked by 1 person

  22. sweetsound
    August 11, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Timely post! I actually wondered about this very thing last night, after realising I failed to finish the last four or five books I started. I used to inhale books, and now I can’t even finish ones with interesting topics. My attention span has been butchered!

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 11, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Or… they haven’t grabbed you properly. Something will knock your socks off soon, and your faith in your attention span will be restored. It’s not always our fault. And sometimes it’s just personal taste… maybe try a new genre – or a classic. The last book I fell in love with was written in 1946!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. August 11, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Reblogged this on Gil Shalev and commented:
    My oh my, who woulda thunk writing is such hard work? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Since it is, I was hoping to find something worthy of sharing with you all and it took a while before I found it.

    I found this post interesting, attention grabbing and informative so, there you go! Check that blog out for yourselves. I will too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 11, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      Thank you for the re-blog and your lovely comment, Gil. All this loveliness is in danger of putting me in a good mood, but I’m fighting it bravely. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  24. August 11, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Thanks for the good read Tara. I could hear your accent in your writing. My comments is, I am dealing with the embarrassment of having this friend who is someone I buy a coffee or a meal for, known for many decades, but recently learned he is proud of not reading more than 5 books in his entire life, (63yrs). I felt weird and betrayed. I felt like all this time he was faking it, being clued in that is. Even after he named a few of his 5 titles he got the authors wrote. I am never calling him again because when I am right he has no material background to argue my points with any intelligence, so it’s all clever and crafty nonsense. I know it’s my shame not his. I still will never call him again. Now after reading this and seeing how likely it is to be true, I just don’t want to meet anyone again without a long interview. I mean what is the point? Sign HFA with ADD and Dyslexia etc etc all that makes reading and writing harder to do, but do it we must.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 11, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      It takes all types to make a world, though, doesn’t it… Perhaps your friend is very well clued in from the conversations he has with people like yourself! Of course, he could also be what we call in Ireland ‘a total chancer’, but I wouldn’t shun anyone for not reading. Having said that, if they were the sort to be relentlessly cheerful all the time, even on Tuesday mornings, I’d have to drop them like a nest of wasps. But that’s just me. Thanks so much for dropping in and commenting!


  25. August 11, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Your post is so true!!! I love reading actual books in this day and age, but my friends prefer to watch the (usually) badly made movie based on the book. Awsum post! Please do check out my blog as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 11, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      Put the kettle on, I’ll be over! The thing about movies is that they still sell books – so I don’t think the authors mind, no matter how bad the movies are. I reckon most authors would allow an animated musical version of their literary noir masterpiece if they reckoned it’d help sales… and who could blame them nowadays?

      Liked by 1 person

      • August 12, 2015 at 5:01 am

        Ikr! Plus the directors usually cut out some parts from the books. So the movie doesn’t seem to have the same essence as the book.

        Liked by 1 person

        • August 12, 2015 at 9:23 am

          Which can sometimes be a really good thing (not mentioning any authors in particular)

          Liked by 1 person

  26. August 11, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Thank you! I’ve gotten a little tired of my generation being criticized for its hunger for novelty and appreciate the consideration that we might be a little picky. I know that I am.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. August 11, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    You’re right. We are being conditioned by the nature of the information age. I can only see that getting worse. I fear books will soon end up being written as strings of eight word advertising slogans to try and keep readers. Ouch.

    Liked by 2 people

    • August 11, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      As long as TV maintains its current golden age, we might be safe. It shows we can still be held rapt when things are done right… here’s to the good – no, great – books rising to the top.

      Liked by 2 people

  28. August 11, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    I’m a librarian and a long-time book dabbler…ask your local librarian if they’ve read something and they might say sure, which means, I had it at home and looked at its pretty cover for awhile and then had to return it. One of my idols Nancy Pearl puts it this way: if you’re under 50, give a book 50 pages, if you are over 50 life speeds up so take your age, subtract it from 100, and give it that many pages. Then, when you are 100, you can judge a book by its cover. I’m not in high school anymore, so what reading I do I do for myself which means if I don’t like it I have a dozen other things waiting for me. But maybe I’m just better at writing beginnings than endings…Anyway, just found your blog and enjoying it, hope you are feeling better.


    • August 11, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      That is possibly the best idea I’ve heard in an age – any age! Thanks so much for posting. I’m going to do that from now on. I had a boyfriend once who only ever used to read the first chapter and the last. Possibly because he was trying to humour my own love of books… still, it might be a good way to read the zeitgeisty stuff if I ever make it past 90.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. lookingforhappiness
    August 11, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Love this, you said exactly what I’m thinking, why would you waste your time reading a book that they haven’t bothered to edit! I’d love to know what kind of books you’re reading xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • August 11, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      Oh, I’m an indiscriminate book wench. I’ll read any genre except sports biographies. Unless the sports biographer is really funny, like the guy who did one from the point of view of a football player’s dog. Anyway, at the moment I’m on a historical fiction trip, with the odd annual report from a dodgy international corporate. See? Book wench!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. August 11, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Reblogged this on peachysinsights.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. August 11, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    I just read your blog post and shared on my own. Writers need to know why people are not finishing their books. I support self published indie authors, but, I find that many do not have them edited by someone who can help them turn a good idea badly written into a truly good book. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • August 12, 2015 at 12:45 am

      Thank you! You touched on one of my bugbears: I have a special place reserved in the eternal bus station for people who don’t believe they need editors. Editing is a necessity, not a luxury. Readers are asked to pay good money for a product: there’s no excuse for that product not being put out professionally. I only complain about it about once a month though, I’m trying to cut down. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

  32. August 11, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Lovely post! Fortunately though I’ve been quiet fortunate in finding very good books to read. And yes, the search is hard; there are just so many now that in your search for an acceptable one you retire halfway and go to something else. As to the price of books I really don’t judge their value by how cheap or expensive they are, mostly cause iam almost always brokeโ˜บ

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 12, 2015 at 12:46 am

      I remember being in college and thinking the height of wealth would be to buy any books I wanted, when I wanted. Free books hadn’t come on the scene at all yet. So although they were easier to pick, they were harder to afford. Perhaps in a few years we’ll reach an equilibrium of great books at great prices, who knows?

      Liked by 1 person

  33. August 12, 2015 at 2:04 am

    Oi tara estou comessando hoje meu WordPress e preciso de ajuda para cativar meus conhecidos com minhas publicaรงรตes um abraรงo Carlos Lima

    Liked by 1 person

  34. August 12, 2015 at 3:48 am

    Great post! It was funny, truthful, and made me realize how much the world really has changed. I want to go share this with all my friends who say they hate reading and see if this tells them why. Haha!! Wonderful post again!!


    • August 12, 2015 at 9:14 am

      Share away – thanks for your comment (and the praise. Oh I’m a hoor for the praise ๐Ÿ˜‰ )


  35. August 12, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Reblogged this on ArtEdutech.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. August 12, 2015 at 5:50 am

    Its surely d quality of a book n den d price.someone start a book but if it doesnt worth time den he will change this coz he is having lots of option.
    N d worst piont is he is going to repeat this again n again coz wen u hv lots of option(n definately almost free of cost) its very unlikely dat u will stick to one thing, lyk inside within u its always dat “lets check another one dat might be better”.
    And same goes again n again until somwthing really gud is got n surely people still finishes a gud book..

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 12, 2015 at 9:16 am

      As you say it’s all down to the quality in the end… if it’s good enough, more will finish it than not. Whether they’ll respect it at a low or zero price – well, that’s a whole other psychology.


  37. August 12, 2015 at 5:51 am

    this is a great article, good job

    Liked by 1 person

  38. chugunos
    August 12, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Oh, I am translating you post and posting for my blog, it’s ok?


    • August 12, 2015 at 9:49 am

      Hi Chugunos, as you haven’t included any links, I’d rather you just re-blogged the original post, linking it back to this site without duplicating the content. Thanks for checking in.


  39. August 12, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Wahey! Bloody great to see up here in your natural habitat of brilliance. I won’t genuflect because I’ve to head to work, and it might take me too long to get up again. Anyway, bravo *chipped cup of coffee aloft*

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 12, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Jaysus, Tenderness, thought I’d get a curtsey at least – but you may as well save your genuflections for major festivals. I’m sending you a new cup by carrier pigeon. If it arrives minus the booze, it’s the bird’s fault.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. August 12, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I really enjoyed your post. You really hit the nail on the head with it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  41. August 12, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Reblogged this on lacolikaramogo.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. August 12, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Great blog. Very interesting read! Will be following.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. August 12, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    In reading this it made me appreciate this article even more because while I’m typing this right now I realized I didn’t finish reading the article haha

    Liked by 1 person

  44. August 12, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Agree with everything you wrote.
    I have, as a matter of choice, finished every single (physical) book I have ever started (except one about a genetically modified mega-shark. Total shite, I’m afraid.). Even books I haven’t liked or whose plot fizzled out after chapter 12. Because I respect books and the effort put into writing them, I suppose, but also because if I only read what appels to me, I would never have read De Quincy or Flannery O’Connor. That is how we widen our horizons.
    E-books are a slightly different story, because of the self-publishing and bad editing you have mentioned. Still, except for two or three, I read to the end, notes and acknowledgements and all. Again, someone spent a lot of time producing it. I should give it a decent chance.
    My biggest distraction is having children. Yesterday, I managed to read 12 lines in 2 hours, and I’m not even sure I understood all of it. Technically, I was doing “nothing”, but keeping an eye on kids is a sure way to ruin a perfectly good novel ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    Internet and university study has honed my speed reading skills and I can skim and read diagonally with one eye while cooking the dinner.
    The secret is being able to apply the right technique at the right time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 12, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      I’m impressed with all of the varied skills you’ve shown there, Deborah, not least finding a book about a genetically modified mega-shark, and even attempting to read it!
      I have a theory about some popular fiction, actually, that it serves a necessary purpose even as people give out about it being repetitive and bland: some parents are forced to read something which repeats itself every 3 paragraphs because that’s all they’re ever allowed to read at a time. So each book to its purpose and place, and kudos to impossibly versatile readers such as yourself who persevere against all odds ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      • August 12, 2015 at 10:17 pm

        I am for a balanced diet. And everyone likes a bit of junk food ๐Ÿ™‚ I read Lee Child like some people eat cookies. Delicious!


        • August 12, 2015 at 10:22 pm

          Did the clock in Jack Reacher’s head tell you it was cookie time? You’re okay if it did.

          Liked by 1 person

  45. August 12, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Reblogged this on Santa's Reindeer.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. August 12, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Reblogged this on Learning WordPress Website Design .

    Liked by 1 person

  47. August 12, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Haha that’s me

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 12, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      Oh, good. Now if you could have a full summary on my desk by the end of the day, you can prove it. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  48. August 13, 2015 at 12:39 am

    I do my best to never suffer through bad books! If you don’t like it…PUT IT DOWN!

    Liked by 1 person

  49. August 13, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Reblogged this on reapwhenripeprivate and commented:
    A wonderful insight. My hat down and clapping to Tara, the author of this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 13, 2015 at 10:11 am

      Thanks for the re-blog! You might stop clapping now, though, I’d say your hands are sore.

      Liked by 1 person

  50. August 13, 2015 at 2:43 am

    Interesting post, that’s for sure. Definitely guilty of drowning myself more into the internet and social media lately. Been making an effort to change that a bit. Recently, I’ve been expressing a desire to read classic literature books, like To Kill A Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, etc. I feel like my down time would be satisfying endulged in a classic novel. Now it’s actually turning the TV, phone and computers off that’s a challenge, sadly enough. But I guess it begins with finding a good book, sitting down, opening it for a few minutes, and letting my concentration begin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 13, 2015 at 10:10 am

      As someone who surpassed the accepted healthy level of social media abuse a long time ago Janae, I can still say that 2 hours spent reading a book – any book, it doesn’t matter – never feels like a waste of time. You’re right, too much time on the net can feel like drowning, like you’ll never get the time back. If the book you’re reading doesn’t grab you, though, classic or not, go get another one. Sometimes you just know when it’s not for you. Happy reading ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 2 people

  51. August 13, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Love this post. Such an eye opener.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. August 13, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Reblogged this on Sanjeevkumarpandey's Blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. August 13, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Reblogged this on Uchechioma blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. August 13, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    If people keep downloading books or kindling it….whats the point…we would rather make a brand new script for a movie each time a book is out!!!…. Its not like everyone is into the e book thing.. .buying a book from a store is much cooler and making a library too…and if we read only a couple of chapters would only mean that its not our type of book…and its okay..there are lots of other books too….to chose from….
    You have actually pinpointed most of the obivous dumb things we do…and i really apriciate it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • August 13, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      Exactly – it’s all about choice, and being confident enough to make it. As long as we don’t abandon reading altogether, there isn’t any wrong or right way to go about it.

      Liked by 2 people

  55. August 13, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Very nice article. I had always wondered what would happen to reading literature in the digital age. True ebooks have risen in popularity, but there are also a lot more badly written but interesting things out there that divide readers. I think we’ll see a lot more people reading literature from their favorite blogs and online authors. The idea we had had about books are changing. Kinda makes me wonder where we’ll end up at the end.
    Maybe small short stories are going to be a lot more popular. Hopefully that’ll drag me up with it (shameless self plug). As a novice writer and blogger, I hope it does.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 13, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      I suppose there’s always been a dichotomy between form and content, which has become an even greater polarising factor nowadays what with all the unedited content on the Internet alone. Some people care about how something is written, some don’t. I do, but it’s my choice to dump a badly written book or article, I can’t force anyone else to do it. Short stories do seem to be getting popular once again, don’t they? Especially for commuters reading digitally. Love your username by the way!

      Liked by 2 people

      • August 13, 2015 at 4:07 pm

        With an over abundance of choice, the divide will increase. People who love to read will still read, but they will read only that which interests them. I wonder what effects it’ll have on discource.

        Glad you like the name. It’s also the name of my blog, right here. So I dunno, check it out maybe.Not a lot on it though as of now.

        Liked by 1 person

        • August 13, 2015 at 4:22 pm

          Perhaps choice can never be over-abundant. Except maybe in a sweet shop. Or bakery. Or pub. Hmmm. Something’s telling me I need to eat.

          I will of course pay your blog a visit soon. Looking forward to it!


          • August 13, 2015 at 4:26 pm

            See even the damn pubs have too many choices. It’s so hard to decide what to do anymore.

            Liked by 1 person

  56. Grasping for words
    August 13, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    In a comment you made, I think you make a good point. Two hours in a book is never a waste of time. Sometimes if I sit in front of the TV for more than an hour, I feel guilty. Interesting how each of us interprets quality of time spent. I can sit and read for hours on end and not feel guilty in the least. I think about attention spans as well. I must admit that while reading your blog post, I also sent off an email, signed up for a few things online, and walked off to talk to some people about schedules, then came back. I have four or five tabs up all the time when I’m using the internet. It may, or it may not be a lack of attention, I’m no scientist. It may be like you said, we just have so much access anymore. Remember when someone asked a question and you all pondered over it? This doesn’t even happen anymore. Everyone whips out their phone to “google” the answer. Changing times.

    Liked by 2 people

    • August 13, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      Oh, I know that guilt… channel-hopping between godawful reality shows and next thing you know, it’s dark, the bottle of wine is empty, and you feel as good about yourself as a yo-yo dieter. But never so with a good book.

      You sound busy so I’m delighted you took the time to comment! I’m sure we’re all the same – I currently have 8 tabs open myself – which reminds me, I must go and google how many tabs constitute a mild attention deficit disorder ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  57. PHS
    August 13, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Reblogged this on Archer's Aim and commented:
    An interesting approach to why books are read – or not. Reblogging on Archer’s Aim.

    Liked by 2 people

  58. August 13, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Reblogged this on Jan Hawke INKorporated and commented:
    Well – someone had to say it and at least Tara makes us laugh at ourselves

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 14, 2015 at 12:14 am

      Everyone except myself, Jan. As we all know, I have no sense of humour. ๐Ÿ˜€


  59. August 13, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Reblogged this on larclark.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. August 13, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Nice article. I think lessening reading habitsโ€”not finishing booksโ€”is much about reduced attention spans and our expectations that there will be a certain ease of use when we open a given book. We don’t expect to have to acclimate ourselves to the new task, to deal with a slightly different writing style, something that has ten lines without a picture, things like that. One of the things I’m posting about now on my blog is growing attention spans.What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 14, 2015 at 12:11 am

      I suppose the general gist of my thinking, Sara, is that if a book suits a reader well enough, nothing will distract them because they won’t want it to. Most readers aren’t new to books, so they know what to expect, and I don’t think writing style in itself puts anyone off unless it jars with the story or isn’t executed or edited properly. That’s the point of my post, anyway. Thanks for your comment and best of luck with your project.


  61. Dinesh Prajapati
    August 13, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Reblogged this on My Blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. Alessa
    August 14, 2015 at 2:48 am

    I noticed you made an editing mistake. How exciting! Now I know there are other humans out there! I have to say I like your blog and hope you will follow. Thanks You!
    P.S. The mistake was in the sentence about noone feeling as sorry for themselves as an Irish woman .


    • August 14, 2015 at 8:57 am

      That was an ironic comment, right?! Stylistic use of language might not come across to all… If not, I wouldn’t worry too much about checking blogs for errors, it’s a fruitless exercise. Thanks for visiting & hope you call again!

      Liked by 2 people

  63. August 14, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Reblogged this on godcreatedm.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. August 14, 2015 at 8:12 am

    I adore you and your skills, your writing and book reviews. Congrats on being freshly pressed! I admire that. Please feel free to stop by my tab on book reviews. ~Jackie

    Liked by 3 people

    • August 14, 2015 at 8:59 am

      That’s a lovely comment to wake up to, thank you Jackie. I don’t actually do book reviews on the blog, I leave that to the experts! Glad you liked the blog.

      Liked by 3 people

  65. sailenyi
    August 14, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Reblogged this on sailenyi.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. dealomania
    August 14, 2015 at 10:08 pm


    Liked by 1 person

  67. August 15, 2015 at 3:42 am

    Your right we part are like that. Great post

    Liked by 1 person

  68. August 15, 2015 at 3:57 am

    Reblogged this on Sports Courtroom and commented:
    this is beyond true. me being 19 limits by ability to think like anyone before one information/uber technology age but it makes so much sense. My capacity to make decisions on what I will allow my brain to take time to understand fluctuates so quickly I don’t even realize it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 16, 2015 at 1:09 am

      Thanks for the re-blog. It’s a skill, I reckon. We’re evolving to a stimulation-ridden environment and instinctively making decisions. I think our ages determine whether or not we’re comfortable with that!


  69. August 15, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    I liked your piece.My wife calls me a late reader,in fact,I couldn’t read until I was 12.Although I am a slow reader as well,I read E-book classics on the Guttenburg platform.
    Your piece made me think,thank you so very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 16, 2015 at 1:07 am

      You’re more than welcome, glad you liked it. I hadn’t heard of that platform and now I’m off to get me some lovely e-book classics so I say thank you for that too!


  70. Talal Abbasi
    August 15, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Reblogged this on Talal Abbasi.

    Liked by 1 person

  71. August 16, 2015 at 5:40 am

    nice read, thx.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. The Rookie Avenger
    August 16, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    I’m pleased I read all of this. My attention span held out, and I’m glad it did. I always longed to write a novel but it has been stuck in first draft mode for too long now. So, I am currently trying blogging out. Writing short articles certainly keeps my attention focused, but my real joy is in reading the blogs of others. Times are certainly changing. I have just finished reading a great book though. Just sometimes I wish it would take me longer than two days. Or not. Life goes on!
    Great post by the way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • August 16, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      Thank you! Delighted I got your attention ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds like all you need is the idea that really grabs you in order to finish that book. Don’t give up. And I agree, the blogging world is full of brilliant stuff. I find more original ideas on other blogs these days than I find in the print media.

      Liked by 2 people

  73. August 16, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    very nice!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  74. ayesha4827
    August 17, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Both our attention and life span have become equivalent to that of a hungover goldfish.


    • August 17, 2015 at 9:35 am

      I’m guessing you’re not having the best Monday so far, Ayesha. Hope your week improves.

      Liked by 2 people

      • ayesha4827
        August 17, 2015 at 9:36 am

        I’m afraid you’re right. Thanks though.

        Liked by 1 person

  75. August 17, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Reading through your post and the comments- yes, it has been a bad year for books. I do blame it on the kindle purchase…why? BK (before kindle) i would rely on friends recommendations and , well, thats it. Now AK (after kindle) i just have time to mindlessly peruse and download…fingers crossed i will get some substance for 99c….oh how i have been proved wrong….big sigh….

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 17, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Yep – the single most influential change in the book world has come from from cheaper books, I reckon. Following tedious experimentation I tend to avoid the cheap stuff myself nowadays.


  76. August 17, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    I Agree.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. August 18, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Some really great points! As I attempt to “get noticed” in this over-crowded world of “stuff” to read, watch & do, the world has suddenly become too busy to pay attention to what I have to say. What I’ve come to understand, though, is that you have to say it anyway. Thanks for some insights that help me realize that it’s not all about me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 18, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      I think it’s very difficult to ask any stranger to pay attention, Debbie. Hopefully, if we speak enough sense, and say it well enough, an audience builds, however slowly. But my big bugbear on social media is the competitive narcissism, so to be honest, I think if more of us realised more often that it’s not all about us, we’d all be a lot happier!

      Liked by 2 people

  78. emilyzisko
    August 18, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    I think it’s really interesting that while discussing the concentration required to read an entire novel you chose to bullet-point your main points. I wonder if this abridged your ideas or worked mainly to organize the piece. Either way, lovely article and interesting juxtaposition!

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 18, 2015 at 10:47 pm

      Well, it’s all down to format, isn’t it. Blog formats can be fluid, but wordy blogs such as this one still tend to observe rigid conventions regarding length, structure, attention-grabbing headlines and strategic (ahem) use of white space. After all, the objective is to hang on to an audience once we get them! I wouldn’t do a novel in bullet points, and I wouldn’t do a blog post in long paragraphs. Mind you, I wouldn’t rule it out, if there was a joke in it ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • emilyzisko
        August 18, 2015 at 10:56 pm

        Good point, I have much to learn. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

        • August 18, 2015 at 11:01 pm

          Not at all Emily – I wouldn’t listen to me if I were you. Someone did once, and I believe they’re still wanted in several countries.

          Liked by 1 person

  79. August 18, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    Reblogged this on Debbie Dey WRITES.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. August 19, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Reblogged this on all things biblio and commented:
    Found this on Freshly Pressed, truly enjoyed reading this post and others on Tara’s blog. Her writing style is catchy with humorous overtones and has inspired me as I slowly get this little blog starting to roll.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 19, 2015 at 11:14 am

      Thanks for the reblog. Glad you liked it. I wish you the very best in your new blogging adventure!


  81. August 19, 2015 at 11:17 am

    WRT attention span, the book I’m reading at the moment has very looooooooooooooooooooooong chapters, and while the content is great, the notion of finishing a couple of chapters when I go to bed is not appealing as I would be awake for hours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 19, 2015 at 11:35 am

      I find the same, Ruth, as someone who reads most in bed. Overly long chapters are more off-putting than Terry Prachett’s style of no chapters at all. It’s like some authors believe that short chapters or passages are a form of dumbing down: I can’t say I agree.

      Liked by 1 person

      • August 19, 2015 at 11:57 am

        I’ve not read Terry Pratchett, but I think the no chapters could be well off putting for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • August 19, 2015 at 12:05 pm

          His text is well segregated into blocks per character POV, so it’s more like a series of really short unnumbered chapters. It seemed to suit both him and his genre, anyway.

          Liked by 1 person

  82. erinlynnetallman
    August 19, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    “As a race, we have developed the attention span of a hungover goldfish. We canโ€™t concentrate on anything longer than a Buzzfeed article called 21 Things Only People Who Wore Purple Underpants In 1991 Will Understand.”
    lol !!
    Well said. Sad but hilarious at the same time and very true. And as you also said, “There are winners and losers in every cultural shift, and not always for reasons immediately apparent to mere mortals. The only thing that is certain is that the way we consume entertainment is changing. And thereโ€™s no point at all in sitting around moaning about it. Even if we have good reason to feel sorry for ourselves.”

    I think if you really want to get published, you’ll find a way. Will Smith in the Pursuit of Happiness…

    The biggest issue is that we would really just love to be at the top effortlessly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXb8PON7pQg

    Anyway, great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 19, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      Why, thank you! And yes, I believe perseverence to be a powerful weapon, as long as we adapt along the way to remove from our strategy stuff which is evidently not working. But still, we’re always going to need a bit of luck…


  83. August 19, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    So so true! Great blog


  84. August 20, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Reblogged this on Pour Out Zone.

    Liked by 1 person

  85. August 20, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Life is too complicated for a bad book

    Liked by 1 person

  86. August 21, 2015 at 6:06 am

    Yaah truly
    Life is true short and even there are people who think reading is just damm waste of time , pity on them .
    And adding on to the list there are some exceptional characters out there who want others to read what they wrote but they didn’t want to read what others think.
    More of all your # attention span excuses gives great idea about # so cold busy humans of this # competitive world.
    But indeed nice written..
    And about finishing the books i have my experience too. I had brought 2 books but didn’t started them yet . I cant even presume why …
    The reason behind not finishingbooks i think more of us select books by cover , title or by just seeing content .
    We visualize something about book and sometimes unfortunately we see differences in our expectations and reality in that book .


    • August 21, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      That’s a different take on it indeed, thank you for your comment.


  87. August 21, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Reblogged this on nafonikaz.

    Liked by 1 person

  88. August 21, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Very insightful! And I admire your writing style. You’re observant, witty, and insightful – a great combination.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. August 22, 2015 at 9:17 am

    I read a lot of bad books… and I don’t mean completely horrible, I just mean clichรฉ, predictable etc. Is it wrong that I love the cheesiness of them? I can usually read a book in about 5 hours if it’s an easier read… and 5 hours not thinking, just consuming words, is sometimes needed to prolong my good mental health lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 22, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      If you love them, I don’t think they can be bad books. It’s all relative, isn’t it? My bad book might be your wonderful escapism, and vice versa. The main thing is that when you read it, you’re transported somewhere else. As long as a book has been edited properly. That’s my one bugbear!


  90. wendymc12
    August 23, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Great blog post. Unless the book is really bad, I always finish reading it. I think I am rare in that I always have a book or three that I am reading though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      All hail your perseverance, Wendy. I was the same, once, but a rash of badly edited stuff has made me quicker to judge and slower to finish! But like you, I generally have a minimum of 2 books on the go at the same time.

      Liked by 1 person

  91. August 24, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Talking of attention span… can’t recall what you wrote up there.. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Grt post!! n yes too many options = information overload = confused ‘us’!

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 24, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      At the risk of even more info overload, you could always read it over again backwards, see if it means something entirely different!

      Liked by 1 person

  92. August 24, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Reblogged this on Cube of Life and commented:
    A nice read.

    Liked by 1 person

  93. August 25, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    This is why I refuse to buy a good quality e-reader and prefer to read actual books. No, I’m not rebelling against technological advancement – I simply can’t forgive myself every time I leave a book unfinished. It’s like a disease. Lately I just go to the store, buy ONE book and then finish it till the end (sometimes questioning why I even bought it in the first place).


    • August 26, 2015 at 9:42 am

      I think you’re right. I’m also far more likely to finish a paperback than an e-book. I might take a leaf out of yours!


  94. August 27, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    The way we consume entertainment is definitely changing, and we have to do a little re-molding that’s all..

    Liked by 1 person

  95. August 28, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Like the post! I caught myself trying to skip parts to reach your conclusion, while actually liking what I was reading – confirming your point in a way ๐Ÿ™‚ I would like to add the fact that, overall, added with access to a larger collection of books AND comments, and mere information in itself, there’s a sort of organic discursive evolution of easy, fast-tracked English, which has become the lingua franca of the internet. And at the same time, authors who aim for bestsellers often appear to keep film-contracts in the back of their heads (well, scripts are easier), endorsing a rising necessity to follow predictable basic story lines, to be read faster, to not be boring, in order to reach the crowd. And I’m not judging, being part of that crowd! I wonder what the future will bring in that aspect. What will define the new literary turn, if we regard our attention span?

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 29, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      I’m not sure it’s that ubiquitous a problem: there are still different audiences for different forms and styles of writing. I agree the Internet has spawned its own, but on the other hand, the New Yorker online is still the New Yorker. I like the odd 5,000 word piece of investigative journalism as much as the next man, but I’m not looking for intelligent prose when I’m reading about a celebrity wedding. In the same way, there are massive differences between book genres. A place for everything, etc…


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