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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

What Is the Future of Books?

As I was shamelessly begging for blog ideas, one of the suggestions was that I talk about the future of storytelling. This would be the format aspect of the future rather than content and reference was made to my geeky heart. :-) Hey, I am a geek, I can admit it.
I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer the question, but I've read about what other people see for books in the future.  One of the predominant predictions is that books would become multimedia. There'd be music, video, or whatever technology comes in the future. I've also seen a bunch of readers say they don't want their reading interrupted by music or video.
Part of the reading experience is using imagination and video would detract from that experience, IMO. Of course, five years ago, a lot of people were saying they didn't want to read their books in electronic format, so who knows if minds will change? Still, movies are a form of storytelling and if books become more like movies, why would we need the book?
I've also heard a lot of speculation that there will be more reader input into which direction a story goes and the author will write it to what the group wants.
Do I think this will happen? I don't know. To be honest, I hope not because I can't write to committee. I've said it before, but my characters are the ones in control, and if I try to do something they don't like, they lock me up so I can't write anything until I go back and fix what they don't like.
My concern is that books are falling by the wayside because people just aren't reading. I also read an article that said more people want to write books than read them. I'm not sure how anyone can write a book who doesn't read—I learned so much from reading about how to write—but I believe the article because I've met so many people who've said the same thing to me.
There's a quote from Ray Bradbury that's appropriate here: You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture, just get people to stop reading them.