Wednesday, June 12, 2013

EVERYBODY SKIPS THE BORING PARTS!

                                                                     


I recently read an article that provided both charts and graphs to demonstrate that the majority of people don't finish what they start to read on-line.  Quite a few drop off at the first sentence and from there continues a steep decline in readers.    Few people read to the end.


My theory is they've been  post-secondary students.   If you want to survive university you soon realize that you can't possibly really read the deluge of material that you are provided by the professors whose salary you pay, at least in part.   My recent advice to a frustrated and panicking student:   Read the first and last paragraph and the Abstract (that's the brief summary preceding a lengthy article).  The ratio decidendi.  The problem is that once you have that habit--depending upon how long your university career lasted--it's difficult to break.

I think that is why I came to prize succinctness.   I console myself that the reason my books could charitably be called mid-length--that is, most, except the novellas, are closing on 50,000 words--is because I deplore padding.   Articles that are turned into short stories or short stories that are reincarnated as novels.   That's when I find myself skimming.

                            


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