I spend a lot of time thinking about reading. Not just because I don’t want to bore you, but because I’m paid to think about how to turn words into cold hard cash.
Ultimately, that requires reading and readers. I don’t know if I entirely agree with the arguments Holden Karnofsky recently made on the subject. But they’re provocative and worth considering.
That people skim and search for the relevant tidbit or le mot juste seems inarguable. How that isn’t akin to a sous chef gutting a fish, as Michael O’Malley once put it, appears less clear.
I do agree that writers who seek major time commitments from readers–those penning items thousands of words long–must consider the audience, if only because you can’t win the argument (or make the sale or get the donation) if you lose the reader.
Read Karnofsky’s post here: