Monday, March 21, 2016

In book clubs, the pace is often slower; and audio books sell

I did attend the book club at Westover Market mentioned in my March 6 review of Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer”.
The dense writing style was reported as a bit of a challenge.  But one particularly interesting point concerned the apparent oxymoron “non-creative man of letters” as discussed late in the book.  Also important was the idea that propaganda works only with people who already “believe” because of a sudden personal loss.

But what was interesting is the way many people relate to books and to reading.  People still get on waiting lists to borrow books at the library.  It’s a social experience, and particularly a child-rearing event. So the pace is much slower.

A “journalist” or “pseudo-journalist” like me uses Amazon (or iTunes or other such platforms) rather than physical stores because of the volume of content I must review.  I need the automation that doing everyone online offers.  But it’s a solitary experience; it doesn’t teach kids, and it doesn’t help booksellers or publishers maintain their business models (and people’s jobs) as well as the more occasional user.  Some persons tonight expressed an interest in audio-books.  I can recall back in the 80s, people would buy them – especially items like Stephen King novels – but it makes the course of consuming a novel much slower, and with much of it abridged.

My own content is so close to the vest that it is impossible to conceive of abridging it or packaging it that way, although crafting movie screenplays is a different matter.

I showed my three DADT books.  I did point out the passage in the first book about Rosenfels (p. 123, Chapter 3, in my “Do Ask Do Tell I” book), and discussed how Hoffer’s analytic writing style inspired Rosenfels and probably even me.  (I’ve heard the comment that it is like Philip Roth.)

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