Books are great. People love books. I love books. It’s not uncommon to see someone’s Twitter bio say something along the lines of “lover of TV, books, and movies.” Books are seen as an equal medium to TV and movies. They’re just a different way to present a story and entertain the consumer, and that’s good and fine! But I’ve been thinking lately that books are a weird medium in several ways.
For one, where is their big award show? We have a billion music award shows and a bunch of TV and/or movie ones. We have theater awards and even Youtube/online media awards. So where are the big book award shows where authors and editors and publishers dress up and receive awards? Goodreads holding awards that users can vote for is nice, but there’s no big fancy award ceremony, which is weird because as I just said, books are seen as an equal medium.
And since we’re on the topic of awards, how come it seems that every book ever produced is a #1 New York Times Best Seller? They can’t all be number one. I mean, like, congrats to all the authors as that’s still #goals, but the New York Times needs to chill.
Another reason why books are a weird medium is how solo it is. Very rarely are there multiple authors for one book, and if there are, it’s usually some research book. I found a Goodreads list of 28 books by two authors, but even Goodreads only lists one author for categorization. We have songwriting duos (Pasek and Paul) and duo movie directors (Russo brothers), so why not writing duos? Think of how cool worldbuilding and plots could be if you had another person to contribute ideas…are share the typing/editing.
My fourth reason why books are a weird medium is that they haven’t really changed at all. Books from 100 years ago are quite similar to books now, except maybe the way they were printed has changed (perfect bound vs whatever was used back then). Movies and TV, though a lot more recent than books, have changed and adapted a lot since they began in terms of presentation, content, audience, and more, but books haven’t. Of course, there’s that “if it ain’t broke” saying, and I believe that here, but it’s definitely interesting how there aren’t really any books (that I can think of) that really shake up the medium.
The last reason why books are a weird medium is that they’re not actually that wildly popular. My dad doesn’t read books, a lot of my friends don’t read books, even I don’t read as much as I used to. The book industry is still huge and won’t be dying soon, but it’s weird that there are some people who can avoid reading books and live a normal life. It’d be weird if someone was like “yeah, I haven’t seen a movie in three years,” but I think a lot of people can say they haven’t read a book in three years for sure.
What are your thoughts on books as a medium?
Anyway, if you couldn’t tell, this was a 2am idea, and then I also wrote a lot of it at 2am…
That’s all for now!