By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In 1902, Jules Verne, author of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea predicted that novels would be supplanted by daily newspapers; but Gordon Crovitz in The Wall Street Journal tells us not to worry, a record more than 100,000 novels are now published in the US and Britain each year.
Crovitz believes that “in an age of constant digital snacking, readers … yearn for skillful storytelling.” He’s bolstered by the Harvard Business Review which this year published an article called “The Business Case for Reading Novels” and literary critic Sven Birkerts who calls novels “an antidote to the mentality that the Internet promotes.”
In the article, “How the Internet Saved the Novel,” Crovitz says that engaging with a novel, print or e-book requires rare focus in our “Information snacking lives”, comparing digital technology to a chocolate jag that you eventually get sick of and go to something healthier.
Librarians and booksellers point out that novel book clubs increase members every year.