The End of Reading 

And Why It Is Not

All the signs are there.

We spend hours scrolling or swiping left and right, liking and
sharing, and inputting cryptic emojis that may have nothing to do
with our intended messages. We write instant messages with as
little care for spelling as for grammar.

While we are not doing this, we watch videos on YouTube (after
the obligatory annoyance of advertisers) or on Tic-Toc or Instagram
or all three at once.

We still watch television, maybe even more than before, but not in the traditional way. We binge-watch our favorite shows, we stream  
films, we subscribe to services that provide more “content” than there has ever been before  in the history of forever.   After all this, we might pick up a book.  

The advent of the New always puts a fright into the hangers-on to the Old, the Familiar, the  Time-Tested. We are constantly running scared of being made supernumerary by robots.  When the television arrived, the movie industry shuddered. When the Internet happened,  old and uncontested dinosaurs across the board did not know what it was or why it should  have been treated a little more carefully.  

The Internet arrived like Hannibal over the mountains. While we were mesmerized by the  marching elephants, everything we used to know about publishing, music, news, film, and  any other media industry got ever so gently turned on their heads.  

It was not the end of publishing, music, news, film, and any other media industry, but it was  a watershed, and we are still reeling from its impact.  

So why announce the end of reading? Competition for our attention has ballooned enormously in the last 30 years and continues to expand. Our attention spans, some argue,  have been proportionately stunted at the same time.  

Readers, however, are tenacious. We will not be supplanted or marginalized, and there is  evidence showing more bookstores continuing to open, more authors continuing to publish,  more books being bought or downloaded. 

The End of Reading being still a long way down the road, I am launching my newly revamped  website, one which is unapologetically about reading and writing precisely for this reason.  

I call it BookAbout for a silly reason. It all began with taking my dog for a walk. His walk  became a walkabout and, because after we had walked I wanted to sit and read, it became a  bookabout. So here we are.  

I will do my best to keep all the sections current – the book reviews, the blogs, the short  stories, and the installments of the serialized novel Harley’s Prologue. You may also find  direct links to my latest books as well. 

Passing GO, a new detective novel tinged with the supernatural with a Monopoly subtext,  can be found on kobo as an eBook and from the publisher in print.  

In short, I am gambling that it is not so much the end as the beginning of reading. After all,  every book opened is a new beginning on which we embark.  

Happy reading,  


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