Interesting article, Maryanne. During a short stint of lecturing at a community college, I was amazed at how hard it was to keep the students’ attention. Before them they had a computer screen, on their desks they had their iPhone and iPad. For the 3-hour lecture time, I joined what was a jumble of information sources, all vying for attention. You could say, “Phones off,” or “computers off,” but it doesn’t matter. With so much “there,” the young brain becomes a cherrypicker. So now we have “cherrypickers,” ready to jump to another information source at the drop of a hat. I guess it’s my argument for boooks over tablets. Holding a book, it keeps us centered and therefore involved. Anything on our tablets or computers can be swiped, trashed or simply passed over as another medium is at arm’s length. We buzz like bees, but I think we’re pollinating less and less. Tablets are the GMOs of literature. Thanks for the article.

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I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

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