Garrison Keillor Rants Against Ease of Online Publishing

Posted on May 26, 2010

Garrison Keillor, the host and writer of A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer's Almanac, has published a rant against blogs, free online content and self-publishing in the Baltimore Sun. Keillor argues in his op-ed piece that "when everyone's a writer, no one is."

Call me a pessimist, call me Ishmael, but I think that book publishing is about to slide into the sea. We live in a literate time, and our children are writing up a storm, often combining letters and numerals (U R 2 1derful), blogging like crazy, reading for hours off their little screens, surfing around from Henry James to Jesse James to the epistle of James to pajamas to Obama to Alabama to Alanon to non-sequiturs, sequins, penguins, penal institutions, and it's all free, and you read freely, you're not committed to anything the way you are when you shell out $30 for a book, you're like a hummingbird in an endless meadow of flowers.
We thought the backlash against blogging ended years ago. Once the technology arrived that made it easy for to publish online it was inevitable that people were going to launch blogs and websites and have their say. Keillor may not like it, but the technology is here to stay. People reading and writing blogs is unlikely to cause book publishing to "slide into the sea." Book publishing faces far bigger threats from other forms of entertainment, such as video games and the growing amount of video, tv and cable content.

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