Alright, so we live in a Web 2.0 world in which, if we are being honest with ourselves, we have finally started to feel comfortable. I am wondering if I am falling victim to this hyper-new world, where attention spans have been halved and blinking lights are the only attention holders worth a darn. (I am also wondering if this is a stupid thing to keep thinking about considering how long The Golden Notebook, and its 500 pages, has been sitting on my bedside table!)
That is why this article from the Chicago Tribune caught my attention: "Technology and Books: Is the Novel Too Much for our Technology-Addled Minds?" In it, John Keilman seems just as torn as I and offers no real solutions or conclusions.
I'm not as willing to blame technology as the author of the article and I do not suffer from the shake-your-head-slowly-at-the-youth-of-today mentality for one reason, and one reason alone: The Twilight Series. If the youth of today can get through that, they can get through anything.
Yes, I sometimes can't help but to check my text messages while having dinner and I love to Google (or Bing!). The problem is we haven't realized what the children are looking for - their own voice. They are just as able to read War and Peace as I was or as my parents were, but they are looking to define their reality, their creative effect on society.
As a librarian and bookseller, I commend them and look forward to attempting to meet their needs. More audio, more eBooks, quicker response times, full text articles - bring it on!
Sure, we are going to loose some personal contact, some pleasures (the smell of old books that people, myself included, wax eloquently about), but what we are going to gain... well, that I am eager to see.
For any generation who can read the entire Twilight series, well, I don't think I'll have to worry so much about their short attention spans. Just about their taste!