This past weekend, Quita and I attended the CNU Writers’ Conference and saw some very cool people speak, such as author Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia), and agents Michelle Wolfson (Wolfson Literary) and Mitchell Waters (Curtis Brown, Ltd).
While there, we heard two very interesting statistics:
1. 70% of readers only read about 30% of books (meaning they stop a third of a way into reading a book), and
2. In a bookstore, you have about 3 seconds to catch a reader’s attention.
I have to admit, I’ve stopped reading a few books that I was forced to read–and by forced, I mean books that were required for school (sorry Great Expectations). But now, if I buy a book, I don’t care how annoyed I am with a story–I’m now financially invested! Plus, as a writer myself, I know how much sweat and tears go into those pages–I would be riddled with guilt!
But what do these stats tell you? Well, that we as a society have lesser attention spans. With all the new technology updates, we’re used to being rewarded fast. For a book to be successful, you have to draw the readers in quicker and make them care about the characters (which is why we discussed the importance of first lines here).
I got into a great mini-Twitter discussion when I posted the first stat, but we would love to hear all of your thoughts on both of these. Do you stop reading books? If so, why? Also, what draws you attention when you’re strolling in a bookstore?
Psst…don’t forget to swing by here and ask us questions. We’ll answer them on Monday! 🙂