I've given up on ever becoming a writer. I wanted to be one all my life until I learned that it took work to be good at it. But with the help of the Internet, I have become one.
It used to be that one needed an agent to get noticed, a publisher to get distributed and a reviewer to become known. But the internet is the great equalizer.
I mean, how do you recognize a great book? Sure, you know now because someone taught you. But how would you recognize a great book if you'd never read one? What if you grew up reading crap? And that was all you knew? There would be no way to convince you that a great book was great.
I've seen this happen already with movies. You ask someone who's been raised on Saw or The Fast and the Furious or Pirates of the Caribbean to watch something like The Philadelphia Story or The Battleship Potemkin or Sunset Boulevard and see how bored they get. Like I can't get my girlfriend to watch 10 minutes of La Cage Aux Folles, but she watches The Birdcage every time it's on TV.
I don't mean that these movies are crap, but it's an impossible task to convince someone of something when there is no reason to believe. There is no longer a good reason to be a film snob. When I can put Armageddon in my Netflix queue right next to La Règle du Jeu, then how much of a snob can I be?
So what about reading? How many generations do we have left before no one has the desire to read a great book?
And worse, what happens when someone Googles for books and finds something written by the.effing.librarian? And then doesn't know enough to not read it? And then reads it first. And I become their writer of choice, their Armageddon?
There will come a time when no one knows what's good because the internet doesn't have any reason to tell them. The internet doesn't care. We will watch clips of babies dancing and think they are great. We will read some downloaded book because it had good comments on Amazon.
And you might think that's sad, but you will be gone. I don't think this will happen in your lifetime, but soon after, when no one remembers. I guess people will still read the great religious books, including the Bible, Torah, and Qur’an, but only after someone add vampires. Sparkly, sexy vampires.