PW: In that intervening time [14 years between novels], what changes did you notice in the publishing industry?
GDG: People aren’t reading books so much. They text and Twitter and Google a lot—anxiety reading—but they’re too jumpy for books.
I think the phrase “anxiety reading” is a good descriptor for what we do on the internet and our various mobile devices. We check e-mail, send a text, read a favorite blog, look up a topic on Wikipedia, check a friend’s status on Facebook, send a quick tweet, read a news story, go back to e-mail, and on and on and on. For many of us, our internet agility borders on obsessive-compulsive behavior. In Green’s words, it’s “jumpy.”Instead of the relaxing, transporting experience of reading a good book, internet reading feeds and produces anxiety. Not only is its pace frenetic and its quality unfocused, but its substance is often unsatisfying, requiring more clicking to follow-up on loose ends. To combat internet fatigue, I try to keep my internet reading limited to specific times of the day, reserving other times for the focused reading of books (including e-books).