Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Land of the Unread - US of America

Sadly, as one addicted to reading and writing the following is what I have come across in the Guardian's Arts Blog about that great unipolar democracy across the seas, which I assumed was so full of people who loved books. Oh, misery!

From this article it seems finding a book in the land of William Faulkner is as difficult as finding ice cream in hell(Land of the book-free). Excerpt:

"At the same time, the industries which support reading have been ground up and fed through the increasing corporatisation of American life. Book publishers and newspapers have been bought up by giant conglomerates. Publishers, once mildly profitable, have been forced to keep up with blockbuster driven media; newspapers, once wildly profitable, have been used as cash cows. And now that the media companies are done with these newspapers, those same owners are cutting back on all forms of news, including book pages. And all the while reading is under assault from new forms of technology. At what point do we halt and do something drastic? In fairness, some attempts are being made to counteract these trends. The National Endowment of the Arts has started up a program called The Big Read, which turns entire cities into book clubs. Online sites and journals like The Complete Review and the new and improved Bookforum have started up to counteract the loss of book coverage in the media. On television, shows like the Colbert Report and the Daily Show dedicate half of their entire program to conversation with an author. And Dave Eggers has turned his McSweeney's journal into an empire of generosity, starting up drop-in tutoring centers like 826 NYC and 826 Seattle. Visit one of these and it's hard to doubt the lure"

Sad, ain't it?
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