Will Pate's Blog - Peek into a mind of boundless curiosity

If People Don’t Read, Why Keep Writing?

Published on 18/01/08
by willpate

As an internet-addicted millennial, I’m well aware that the printed word is dying. Our generation is going to be the death of printed magazines and newspapers. I haven’t read a newspaper in years, but thanks to Google News, Digg, Reddit, NowPublic and others; I’m still as informed as I was when I used to keep scrapbooks full of newspaper clippings.

But what I didn’t know is that books are already toast. Steve Jobs recently told the New York Times his opinion on Amazon’s Kindle electronic book reader.

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”


Truth is, I’ve been thinking about writing a book this year. I was approached by a publisher last year, did the prep work, and they pulled out after they found another author that had already written a book on a similar subject. After that experience I was thinking of self publishing in print or an ebook. Now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t record video and sell DVDs instead.

My experience on commandN has really convinced me that video is the most compelling medium. I’ve often wondered when writing on my blog, why I don’t just turn on the webcam that comes built into my computer, and tell you what I’m thinking instead. I’ve been a writer for over a decade, and a blogger for 9 years. But I’m starting to wonder: if no one is reading books anymore, then how long until we don’t read at all anymore? When does recording and playing video become such a commodity that the printed word becomes a novelty? Good or bad, I think that day is coming soon. My early adopter gene tells me I need to switch my style up to stay ahead of the curve.

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