(Almost) alliterative illiteracy.

**originally posted on February 2nd**

One thing I never inherited from my dad was his voracious reading appetite. My dad probably goes through two or three books a week, while I go through that many maybe in a month or two. And that’s during the school year. It’s not that I don’t like reading, because I do. In fact, when I’m engrossed in a good book, I can sit on my ass for hours on end until I’ve peeled back every last page. I love moments where I read a sentence, or the way the author phrased something, and lean back in my seat and think, “Wow. This guy knows what he’s doing.” But I don’t experience that often enough, and no, it’s not my fault. I’m passing the buck. I blame my environment for my literary laziness.

The digital age has reduced my attention span to just seconds longer than the time it takes Jared Lorenzento make me laugh. If the letters on the page of the book I’m reading aren’t singing, or dancing, or telling me witty one-liners, there’s a good chance I’m paying zero attention to it. Why would I immerse myself in a world that I play no part in? I’m never going to be able to save Gatsby, no matter how many times I read him. But RazzAdi and furstify and Paxt0n? Well, I CAN save them from zombies with the flick of my right joystick and a punch of the right trigger. Those three don’t dress as nice as Gat, but they’ll also be there to respawn with me and live another adventure. My point is, the lure of technology has superseded the lure of the book. For some people, reading is a slow, tiring process. By watching Lord of the Rings, you trim your time-expended down to “only” 9 hours. And you don’t have to think about ANYTHING that’s not in front of you. Who cares if the philosophical deeper meaning of a work is sailing (maybe it’s even whistling) above your head? That’s just fluff anyway, right?

I wish it wasn’t this way, because it’s easy to follow this train of thought and see a day where books are ancient relics of a culture more civilized. Imagine a world where Holden Caulfield, Boo Radley, and Arthur Dent are all redundant. Of course, no one will care. They’ll be too busy hooked up to their Holovision IVs, getting pumped full of precious attention-sustaining liquigel.


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