Finding One Novel to Read

Why bring a new novel into the world when there are so many already?

This question would seem to be made for today, with the glut of novels that   printing-on-demand has allowed.

But this was a question before digital publishing. Libraries were already filled with more novels than anyone could read in a lifetime, and yet authors kept writing them and publishers kept marketing them.

Part of the answer is that a novel is like a child — there can never be too many children in the world, even if the world’s resources are strained. Even if the world’s children suffer.

 A serious novel, like a newborn, is an expression of hope.

The author who decides to bring a serious novel into this overcrowded world of books invariably thinks, “This novel will be different.” “This novel will ease suffering. “This novel will change the world.”

Prideful as this thinking may seem, the world allows it. For the prospect that a new novel might be the one that everyone has been waiting for, publishers continue to push new titles and readers continue to buy them.

But there is obviously a big problem with the glut of novels today.

The search for life-changing literature is degraded by marketing gimmicks that derail readers’ focus and divert them to books that they aren’t seeking.

Too much choice is paralyzing.

How many times do people search for something on line only to end up so far away from their original target that they give up on their search?

Because of this choice paralysis, readers today cannot typically find that extraordinary novel that drops their mouths open.

Instead they wind up trying out the latest entertainment novel marketed to cash in on popular culture.

Readers who want something better need a new strategy. With so many books out there now, it may no longer work to read more in an effort to find inspired literature, but to read less.

Readers who take their sights off quantity may find their focus on quality is keener.

Instead of looking for the next book to read, readers should look for the one book to read that is capable of showing them something intimate about themselves and something eternal about their world.

With this strategy it becomes easier to read slowly. Upon reading slowly it is easier to retain more and contemplate deeper connections.

With so many books out there now, what readers need to counteract choice paralysis is a plan to find that one novel that makes all the difference.