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Monday, April 6, 2009

Internet vs Books

7 years ago I made a New Year's Resolution (with capital letters) that I actually fulfilled! Read. Constantly. That was it. No real aspirations towards massive life overhauls or anything so dramatic - self-improvement? Bah. I'll go browse Barnes & Noble if I need some of that...

I've always read anyway, but it really did become something that I was dedicated to. Stopped watching TV. Rarely watched movies. Free time was generally spent somewhere in the middle of a sci-fi novel, histories, "literature" (you know, fancy writing about made-up stuff), sometimes game-books.

Now there's the Internet.
My resolve has crumbled. I've got 6 books started (6!), and I can't finish any of them - haven't been able to finish an actual book without a great deal of effort over the last few months (i.e.
since I got on the Internet last November)

So I do end up reading all the time now, PDFs, blogs, forums, articles, etc - it is amazing how
much information is available (I'm sure I'm the first to have noticed that...) Anyway - it looks like the Internet has won this particular face-off.

Is this natural? How long does this dubious honeymoon last? I miss my long attention span! If I could keep it in mind long enough to search, maybe I could remember where I left it...
pg 62 Forever Peace - Joe Haldeman?
pg 84 The Dwarf - Par Lagerkvist? (a nasty little book about a nasty little guy...)
lost in between two articles in a John McPhee collection?
some random amalgamation of texts in noisms' Borges Library?

...there's no telling. Maybe I should do a Google search for my lost attention span...

At some point, I'm going to read a damn book again (waiting on a friend who's getting the last book of Lyonesse soon...). Leiber is one author I'd like to revisit - My guess is that I was too young to catch as much as is probably there (I was a 10 year-old reading things I could find out of Appendix N...and LotR OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN!). Moorcock stands up on re-reading (though Elric pales _heh heh_ against his weird-pulp and Dancers series...

I shouldn't complain - the net is pretty astounding - and the sense of community is singular and something I have found myself really valuing more than I would have anticipated. But these days all I can bring myself to buy are reference materials (good reference books are such amazing things...) - and there are still so many books I really really do want to read...

anyway. enough rant.

EDIT: While I was writing this the Web blowed up with the WotC PDF news.
Whadda Maroon! This post has nothing to do with those pdfs

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