I wrote earlier about how I like novellas, how they are making a comeback, and why I tend to see that as all good. Short, concise, and counter to the long, overwritten, intimidating books we often have seen in the last few decades. I mean, books got long!
Sure, there’ve always been classics that were very long, but that’s not the point.
In referencing the Psychology Today article I mentioned in yesterday’s post, it said that polls about reading showed that 40% of those under the age of 44 in the US haven’t read a single book. I’ve also made hypothesis as to the reason for this.
In my liking novellas, I thought, why not write a non-fiction book with the same target length of a novella (less than 40,000 words)? Be the book about politics or religion or one of the other topics I am interested in. Couple that with lighter language and it may encourage learning that other books tend to intimidate people away from.
Two points here that I can assert are the cause of the reading decline: a growing divide between intellectuals and non-intellectuals, and book length (i.e. that book is just too damn thick to read).
I see this in listening to and reading Sam Harris. The man speaks very well. But he also speaks very intellectually. He doesn’t speak in a manner a normal person will not see as off-putting and non-hoity-toity as some might assert. He has his audience, so that is fine for them. But for those who are laypeople or non-intellectuals, or who have little interest in that, the language is often pretentious (though not intended as such).
Book length coupled with the prior point and people are just more apt to want to switch on the TV for something more entertaining thinking that it is informing them of whatever. Again, just rehashing prior points.
So this all came in when thinking about what I am going to do with this passion project I have been slowly writing I am calling “Godless” right now, about my atheism. Although I know it will take me well over a year to write it, I debated on just how “intellectual” or long I was going to make the book. Now I think I figured that out.