Paradoxically, the deluge of writing itself contributes to declining readership. It’s not just that if you’re writing then you can’t be reading. It’s also that the sheer volume of what is now available acts as a disincentive to settle down with a single text. The literary equivalent of channel surfing replaces the prolonged concentration required to tackle a book. Condensed capsules of digital communication are infecting all forms of reading. But books, the longest form that writing takes, are suffering disproportionately in the reduced attention spans of readers.

Read the full essay at the Guardian.

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