Friday, January 30, 2009

An endangered species?

Sometimes I fear for the future of this country.

Oh, that's hyperbole. A better way of saying it is I wonder what will happen in the next 30 years.

Let's forget about the economy for a second -- it is too depressing -- and talk about a subject near and dear to my heart.

Literacy.

I yelled and screamed in an earlier blog about the downturn in reading. I won't repeat myself.

But I read a few minutes ago in the New York Times that the Washington Post has decided to eliminate its stand-alone Book World section. Such content will be spread between two other sections.

The Post says the advertising -- or lack of it -- didn't justify the print costs. That is a trend. The modern-day newspaper -- or at least the corporate suits that run them -- don't value the department that creates the reason one purchases the product. It is all about the almighty dollar. Same, too, for magazines. There was a time, if you can believe it, when the New Yorker didn't even print advertisements.

All isn't lost. I suspect that the newspaper of tomorrow will be a Web site. If I weren't poor, I would buy an Amazon Kindle. What a neat contraption.

The traditionalist in me will forever enjoy curling up with a tangible book. But, frankly, I will support anything that promotes reading for pleasure.

My biggest complaint about the plethora of so-called "reality shows" is that networks favor them because they don't have to pay writers. Call me crazy, but I don't think any of this bodes well for the future.

History repeats itself. I can't help but think the pendulum will swing the other way.

I just hope the ink-stained scribe doesn't become extinct before it does.

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