Reading For Pleasure

As an author I'm obviously very interested in the trend where people say they can no longer read for pleasure because they can't maintain concentration.  Great article in The Guardian that discusses this and relates it to our use of social media and our always on communication tools, which seems to teach us to scan but not to concentrate for very long on what we are reading.

Here was a key paragraph about reading for pleasure:

"One thing that many people who feel they have lost the ability to concentrate mention is that reading a book for pleasure no longer works for them. We have got so used to skim reading for fast access to information that the demand of a more sophisticated vocabulary, a complex plot structure or a novel’s length can be difficult to engage with. Like anything, single-minded attention may need relearning in order to enjoy reading for pleasure again, but close reading in itself can be a route to better concentration. To help that, read from an actual book, not a screen: screens are too reminiscent of skim reading and just turning pages will slow your pace. Read for long enough to engage your interest, at least 30 minutes: engagement in content takes time, but will help you read for longer."

I know there will always be people who read for pleasure and who love books; but those numbers are decreasing.   The ability to concentrate, of course, is more critical than just reading books for pleasure.  This article mentions interruptions and distractions leading to a drop in IQ.

"In 2005, research carried out by Dr Glenn Wilson at London’s Institute of Psychiatry found that persistent interruptions and distractions at work had a profound effect. Those distracted by emails and phone calls saw a 10-point fall in their IQ, twice that found in studies on the impact of smoking marijuana."

Dumber and no ability to concentrate on complex matters; wonder what that will lead to?


The final book of the Muckraker series Murder So Final will be available soon--most likely in November.   Still a few editing steps, but it's close.  In light of the above article I started thinking about these books.  You talk about a challenge, the Murder books maybe an example of a good story that some might find too complex.  Not by design but because of the time frame of the books and the true nature of the story there are lots of characters.  So many that some may find it hard to keep it all sorted out.

I'm in the process of putting together a character list with some brief info on each character--there really are lots of them.  That's not to say the story is confusing, just detailed.  I think these books tell a fast moving story with lots of twists and turns, along with humor and irony; but of course I helped write them.  This character list will be included in the "back of the book' section in Murder So Final.

You should check these books out- I think they are worth the effort.


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