Thursday, 25 February 2010


Boredom is so yesterday.

With the advances in technology we've seen in the last decade it's difficult to see how anyone could ever be stuck for something to read, watch or listen to.

Before downloading and burning music I recall the days of investing in an album. Anticipating it, saving for it, buying it, taking it home and finally listening to it. Then, if it was a turkey, you were financially obliged to give it several more cracks of the whip before you either fell in love with it or REALLY knew it was a turkey. Do I miss those days? Hell, no.

I'd much rather have choice. In 2010 some exciting new release is barely announced before it's instantly available to our fingertips/mouse. Take for example the new Tim Burton 'Alice In Wonderland' that will be released on dvd only three months after its (limited) cinema release.

We can have everything we want in a much shorter space of time but one thing we have to remember is that the same amount of human sweat and tears goes into every album, movie and book that we buy or download. This isn't a tirade about piracy. That's being debated ad nauseum elsewhere. I'm just suggesting it's something that's becoming less and less important in terms of people's appreciation.

Having worked in TV production I know how many people and how many hours are spent making only minutes of entertainment. I've now experienced the process behind the publication of a book so when I'm loitering in Waterstones to see how many copies of STOP ME have been bought I certainly view all the other titles around it differently.

Books are still as thought-provoking and relevant as they've always been but nowadays we don't allow them to possess us to the same degree because we're always after the next bit of ephemeral entertainment. Next! I'm just as guilty. The pace of the 21st Century expects it of me etc etc.

The problem is, we all know that there's this wealth of obtainable material out there and we worry that we might be missing out on something better. I say, enjoy the books, music and movies you really hanker for...properly. Take them in and let them make you think.

Your TV may have 400 channels but following that relentless period of channel hopping, chances are you always come back to the small handful that are of any quality.



  1. It's very true. About the television, yes: there are maybe 1% of channels I can be bothered with. But also about books. It's a frustration of being a writer that many people have no idea the amount of work goes into a book. They think, "Oh, you want to be a write, so be a writer, get published, what's the big deal?"

    What indeed.

  2. Still prefer the boredom of yesterday to the fast, give-it-to-me-now, rushed and impatient pace of the 21st century. Too much too soon breaks the soul and makes people unappreciatve of what they have. Having choices is great but too many can frustrate us. As with the tv that has 400 channels, we will still come back to that small handful that we want to watch.

  3. Thanks, Jen. At least we appreciate the time and effort that goes into every book!

    Thanks, anonymous. It's a difficult balance - too much or too little? There doesn't seem to be a comfortable, human middle ground.