iPads and Kindles have ruined readers attention span claim authors

Posted on 21 March 2014
By Anna Thygesen
  • Share:

In today’s faced paced society where we can get information at the tap of our thumbs and a successful YouTube video averages at under 5 minutes, it seems an impossible task to get the current generation to sit down with a 200-page book.

Modern authors have declared that they are worried that readers are too distracted by their various technological appliances to take the time to get drawn into a good book and a complex plot.

With the success of the Kindle and other e-readers, the problem is not getting people to buy books – it is getting them hooked, and keeping them that way.

The solution, it seems, lies in the first line.

Simon Kernick, author of the best selling novel Relentless, said to an audience at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature: “If you spend too much time setting things up, these days it is not going to work.”

No longer can authors spend time building up the plot, which might mean that we could loose the gentle way of writing used by great authors like Jane Austen, George Orwell and JD Salinger for good.

Author Jojo Moyes supports Kernick in his claim, and comments that she has received a lot of feedback from readers that backs it up.

She said: “A lot of early book reviews I read on Amazon said it had taken people a while to get into the books but they had stuck with it.

“That told me something: that I needed to speed it up. In the last three or four books, I’ve tried to bring the reader in a lot sooner.”

None of the authors seem ready to claim that people are done with books for good, but that we need to think about storytelling in a new way.