And even when I think about my own time, reading is never something that just comes naturally. I have to schedule time to read. I have to make it a priority or my time will simply disappear. After all, there are movies to see, TV shows to binge-watch, not to mention social events, friends, walking the dog, etc.
Tim Parks considers this issue in his recent article and also what it means to read nowadays. He predicts that certain stylistic features that readers used to revel in, passages which required a reader to slow down and re-read, admire, etc., this kind of writing will disappear. People simply don't have the time to revel in long descriptions or repetition for style's sake.
|272 pages: I like this size of novel
I think, too, that our reading habits have resulted in these series books: Knausgaard, St-Aubyn, writers who take a story and then write a new "installment" every couple of years. This used to be a death-knell in North American publishing (though the Japanese have been doing this for a long time) but it's now part of the literary landscape. And I have to admit I like it: I like not having to over-commit to one book for a week or two. If it's short, I can read it in a day or two and then move on to something else. Then go back and read Part II later, re-immersing myself in the story.
At any rate, it will be interesting to see how our frenetic and stolen moments of reading will affect the way books are published marketed and consumed.