“Loving to read as a strategist”. Episode 6. Reading in the XX Century.
It is Friday, and like you, I am looking forward to a lovely painting watercolor weekend. I am trying to finish this publication for your delight, but the additional bonus section has duplicated the time of what I usually perform for each episode. I expect the Bonus material I promised in the last episode (included in the slides) will be of your satisfaction.
During the next two weeks we have promised to offer Bonus material about the following subjects:
Bonus 1: Reading/printing during times of the Protestant Reformation. Today!
Bonus 2: Reading during the Renaissance. 4-OCT 2022
Bonus 3: Reading during the Enlightenment. 7-OCT-2022
Bonus 4: Newspapers commencement. 11-OCT-2022
Bonus 5: What happened during the first industrial revolution? 14-OCT-2022
Today, we have included Bonus material number 1, and its respective strategic reflections in the slides. You will find them in the second section of the document. Please see and print the following set of slides. And, let´s begin.
Reading in the XX Century.
Our comments about this section are written from the point of view of the readers, not the publishers, not the authors, not the bookstore representatives, not the librarians, agents, or anyone else associated with the production-selling-distribution of the books or other reading layouts (textbooks, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, etc.). We already posted in slides 8 to 10 above, a bit of the context of the industry. We aren´t going to develop this episode thinking about printing and its vicissitudes but from the view of people who read. The XX Century came to prove with evidence that the longer that people are educated after they become literate at school, the better readers they become. In addition, during the XX century, it was demonstrated that women who read are the best moms on earth for not only raising family readers but also helping their kids with attention to reading. During the XX Century, more than 50 years were wasted in Europe because of the two World Wars, but in America, reading was flourishing at every single level of society, through libraries, bookstores, and kiosks. It was this time in which reading books was seen also with a potential return on investments. Investors such as J.P. Morgan entered the books publishing industry then. The family-owned companies related to the value chain of publishing and printing changed gradually to private investors and then to public corporations. This was the moment in time, in which the United States of America switched the publishing industry into a purely commercial endeavor. The content of the book did not matter as a priority, but how to make money with it. Keep this information on the top of your head, because we will analyze the implications of this corporate strategy mindset in the publishing industry, how this has impacted the readers during the past century, and the current crisis of the authors with the introduction of digital books.
“The longer people stay in school, the more likely they are to read” (1)
In the XIX century, books had no substitutes in terms of cultural enlightenment entertainment. The book was enjoyable to take people out of boredom. Showbiz was mainly in the books, the opera, the circus, theater, concerts, or in musical LIVE events. The tranquility of the individual reader had no comparison with the rest of the social amusements. But in the XX century, the appearance of the cinema, then the radio, and finally the television, all together with the massive age of the newspapers, changed the entertainment options for people. Suddenly, books were still important but to a greater extent, the substitutes for books as entertainment (recreation) began to rise. Nevertheless, since the books industry was also in constant change, the response to generate sales growth wasn´t focused on the intellectual middle-class or high-end net worth individuals. The competitive pressure for making money out of selling books during the XX century was focused on the cheap paperbacks and anything that the emerging literate working class could afford.
In Europe, during the XX century, and despite the setbacks of the two World Wars, after the 1950s, books were demanded from the new literates who had the opportunity to attend schools. Since the beginning of the XX century for the poorer and less educated readers, the newspaper was the only chance they had to read and get informed. In addition, the expectation of reading what was happening around kept the newspaper economic sector in constant technological transformation and growth. Additionally, the series of cheap “penny dreadful” with drawings (similar to cartoons) publications took over the attention of the masses. These cheap periodicals (sold mainly on a weekly basis) were of an ample range and genres. We can mention the following illustrated historiettes ( with drawings/texts in speech balloons next to them): In France “La Famille Fenouillard” (1893), in the USA, “Felix the cat” (1931), or the Nick Carter series (1886). Later, the detective-crime novels arrived with the appearance of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Agatha Christie´s novels (1).
About the Book Clubs. According to Adriaan Van der Veel (1), the book clubs started after the end of World War I. In France (1924), in The Netherlands (1937), in Italy (1960), in Germany (Weimar Republic) (1918), and so on. This model spread out to the USA and continued until the decade of 1970s. I encourage you to read more about book clubs on the Internet, at your own discretion, because a book club can help you to go back to reading. Read more https://www.britannica.com/topic/book-club
The concept of mass paperback pocketbooks. We will stop here. We will describe what happened with these books in our next episode, and we will proceed then to offer our particular views of the reading trends of today. We will continue emphasizing what has happened with our reading during the last century, from 1970 to our days.
Strategic Music Section.
Music Reading chill-outs
The importance of the book clubs. One magnificent way of returning to reading is to gather with other people to keep doing it together. Our tip for today is to acknowledge that starting slowly to read in conjunction with other people is the best recipe for success. Of course, reading one book of 250 pages per week is not automatic, so starting slowly in a community with others is crucial. We still have not landed on what to read but be sure that we won´t advise reading themes related to immoral or depraved material, but only about topics that will edify you as a person. In episode 12th we will offer guidance on how to discern what to read.
For example, starting a book club is not difficult, you can gather a group of 5 to 10 people on a pre-established day during the week. Let´s say every Wednesday. Choose people in your neighborhood, and you can meet them in one of the households.
Or for those who work in the same company. You can meet, after work, in a coffee shop near your office location. Choose a book that all of you feel happy to read. Paperbacks are awesome. Convene how many pages per week you can sincerely read during 7 days (let´s conceive 15 pages per week to start with). And meet every Wednesday to discuss, debate, and share the reading. Argument your ideas, and examine them given a series of questions that will help you to guide the discussion.
Keep your weekly sessions, until you finish reading the book. Gradually begin to increase the number of pages per week for your reading. It is much better to start unhurriedly. Test how it works better for all. And never forget to set your reading time with your musical accompaniment.
Today´s music is played by the Diogenes Quartet
The Schubert String Quartets Volume 3 is amazing, sweet, and soothing for your reading. Remember to set the volume low. Otherwise, music can also distract you from your reading comprehension. Enjoy!
See you next Tuesday 4th of October, with the seventh episode of the saga “Loving to read as a strategist: Reading trends of today”. Thank you for reading to me.
Sources of reference are utilized today.
All the references used to write today are included in each of the slides, nevertheless, I have cited one in the article
Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, most of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.