Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Books.... still relevant?

Have things changed that much since 1940?  In most every way yes, except it would seem that the movie business is either stagnate  or moving backwards.  In 1939 there was a big news story about the search to find the perfect actress to play Scarlett O'Hara in the movie of "Gone With the Wind". To get a news story out of the casting process today seems to be an "old school" studio system trick.  But here we are 2013 and even without the steam roller organization of powerful movie studios, the big story is the announcement of the actor and actress who have been cast in the movie of  best selling book, "50 Shades of Grey".  
Since I didn't read the book, this news is only interesting from an historical perspective to me.  Being dyslexic I rarely read for pleasure, and being a macho hombre I probably would not pick "50 Shade of Grey" to read either way.  Although I am told that this book transcends the normal pleasures of reading (wink wink).  With that added "interest" I will definitely see the movie. 
As I contemplate this show biz "news" it points to, not the power of movies, but the power of books. In every case from Gone with the Wind to Harry Potter, to Dragon Tattoo, it is the power of the book that drives this interest. I see this as a real contradiction to these modern times.  In this picture/video culture when every restaurant and bar has at least one television screen, and everyone is smart phoned equipped to the max, and written communication consists of a emoticons, you would think that books would lose some of their power.  This announcement today would prove the opposite.  
King writer it would seem.  And one of the quickest ways to become a millionaire even in these Silicon Valley days, is to write a best seller. J K Rawlins and E L James were both British house wives who rocketed to international fame with their books.  Of course the competition for attention for any single book is astronomical, that is perhaps why the great stories rise to the top. Interesting to me is the fact that J K Rawlins and E L James both chose to disguise their gender as writers by using their initials instead of first names.  You would think that gender bias toward writers would be a thing of the past.
At a dinner/birthday party last night our hostess said I should write a book. "Cash in on your writing." she said. It was a huge compliment since she is a writer herself.   Nothing would be more exciting, but my short attention span might get in the way of completing a book. I just write what is on my mind.  That changes day to day. I'm not sure I could focus enough for the long form.
That is not to say I haven't thought about it seriously. I've started a book on Ventriloquism about 100 times.  Perhaps if I gathered all those pages together it would be a book. Unfortunately it would be an entire book of opening chapters.  In this competition for attention in a world of distractions perhaps that would be perfect.  
If that ever happens it will be announced here, and probably this semi-daily blog will have to be shelved during the process.  
Even though this week may not be the most prolific week for blogs due to another activity,  it is not because I am finishing that vent book.  I will however be writing about the  stories from this weeks "activity".  Stay tuned..
As you were,


P. Grecian said...

I'm a rabid reader and, of course, a writer. Playwright. And son Alex is a novelist. We both make a tidy living.
And we both dearly love books.
I can't see that books will ever disappear. The Niche or Cranny people...(or whatever they call that thing...I forget) like to make predictions, but I don't see it happening. Books are tactile as well as visual. And there's some other aspect that's hard to define except for this: No writer I know can edit on a screen of any size. Editing, it appears, must be done in hard copy, or much is missed.
As for that book, Jay...it's something the rest of us should have. Maybe do what I do: keep three by five cards in your pocket and when you get a notion as to what should be in it, jot that down. Save all the cards. When you've got a good stack, sort 'em in order. Have somebody type everything up double spaced and give you hard copy. Then spend a week or a month or a year looking at the hard copy and make notes in the margins and spaces. Have somebody type THAT all up. Before you know it, we'll be able to read that book!

P Greene said...

I know exactly what you mean about imparting your knowledge and wisdom in a book form. My attention to detail is not too sharp any more! ;) Too many outside interests get in the way. ;D