The death of reading?

Last night, I spent some time with one of the friends I have held nearly since my arrival in Paris. Our friendship is founded on the face that we are both redheads with about the same age, but more importantly, we are both avid readers. He is an as-yet unpublished writer that holds odd writing jobs here and there occasionally working in the bookstore of a mutual friend. He is the only other anglophone that I have ever met that read all of Proust’s La Recherche du Temps Perdu (albeit in English whereas I made it through entirely in French). Thanks to him, I discovered Chandler and Llosa and thanks to me, he became a big Balzac fan. Our conversations tend to settle down to culture and reading in particular once we have covered the “where is what’s-his-name” and “what ever happened to” subjects that are the necessary prologue. However, my end of the reading is not being held up. I blogged some time ago about how as a parent, my concentration capacities have dropped considerably. Plus, I have this ongoing addiction to American TV series with which I treat my homesickness. So, my moments of solitude are taken on my iPad rather than behind the pages of a book. My friend mentioned how he felt that almost no one in his entourage was reading. We talked about it at length but couldn’t determine if it was the internet or perhaps our age and the onset of kids, work, stress, the financial crisis or some other external factor which was causing this seeming decline in reading. Another friend in common that had already been published has been unsuccessful in actually getting folks to buy his books and to get the three books he has written since to press. The public’s taste seems to be quite fickle. Perhaps it is a question of marketing.

All that being said, it seems that the French are still pretty discerning and avid readers. At least here in Paris, I cross people in the street and in the Metro reading all the time – and normally things of decent quality and not just pulp. So, perhaps it is a cultural thing?

Hmm, probably merits more thought for a future post, don’t you think? Or maybe blogging is to blame as well? Inquiring minds and all…


About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
This entry was posted in reading and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The death of reading?

  1. Pingback: Book Review: The Pale King by David Foster Wallace – A Posthumous Incomplete Masterpiece | Fino's Weblog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s