140 characters per page
Posted on April 2nd, 2014 by
A worrying trend is occurring.
Many Twitter accounts are gaining millions of followers, which is great. Tweets are great. Throwaway comments, often amusing to scroll through, possibly raise a giggle, and every so often entice a retweet. Single-serving dollops of wisdom, humour or miscellaneous, to follow or unfollow until we get a nice little stream of ‘what we want to see’. Perfect.
What’s worrying is that this popularity is leading to the publication of many, many soulless books, consisting entirely of tweets. 140 characters of ‘whatever’ are now being used as the only content of printed books, and the world is dying a little inside.
Fortunately, for every ‘Top Tips’, ‘Crap Towns’ and ‘US Soccerguy’, we get something wonderful like Shaun Usher’s ‘Letters of Note’. A “collection of 125 of the world’s most entertaining, inspiring and unusual letters”, this book is interesting, funny and thought-provoking. This has also led to the publication of ‘Lists of Note’, which is very much the same thing, only with lists. Equally good. You should buy these books.
Don’t buy any of the others though, some things are best kept for a quick, 5-second laugh on the train. Let’s not encourage the demise of lovely books.