What Happened? Literature

So I’ve never really been into reading for most of my life and whenever I did read a book, it was usually for entertainment purposes only; books like Harry Potter and The DaVinci Code. I saw reading as a source of entertainment, nothing else. It comes as little surprise then when I say that I wasn’t a big reader as a kid nor am I now for that matter. Frankly, TV and the movies, even video games provided all the thrills of my opinion of “a good book.” It seemed the only benefit of actually reading a book, was the “I’m so smart for reading a book on my own time” feeling of accomplishment that it gave me afterwards.

Books nowadays tend to belong to one of 3 major categories: self-help (i.e. get rich quick), self-educate (e.g. Freakonomics, The World is Flat), or page-turners (e.g. The DaVinci Code). The reason for this is that nothing else sells. People just aren’t interested in philosophy, or books that have multiple interpretations and frankly, I don’t think we ever will be.

Literature was written for the social elite who could afford it. Nowadays, anyone can pick up a paperback novel in Longs Drugs or Wal Mart. There is no place in this economy for literature. The purpose of this rambling is not to say that we need more new literature; it would take a man an entire lifetime to read every book by every classic author. This is merely an observation of the degradation of our culture…

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