The number of hardcover book sales has not slackened much, and Kindle and other e-books are booming. What is not clear is whether the number of serious readers is growing or shrinking--people who not only buy a book, but invest the time needed to read it.
Steve Forbes took the time to read George Gilder's Knowledge and Power. He has reviewed it for The American Spectator and now, again, for Forbes. Why twice?
Because actually reading the book is an investment that pays off. If you take the time to read Knowledge and Power your understanding of economics--the topic in turmoil in America right now--will expand and change. Knowledge and Power, Forbes says, "will rank as one of the most influential works of our era, resetting the terms of the debate and changing how we judge the consequences of government actions on the economy." Gilder is "the new Adam Smith."
One of Gilder's many insights is that policy changes can change economic conditions--and quickly. Therein lies hope for our moribund Obamanomics of state control and crony capitalism.
But it takes time to read a book. You can read hundreds of posts online (like this) and scores of pundits' columns meanwhile. You can even have opinions without bothering to investigate what the author himself says.
But when you read the book, you own the ideas yourself. A Congressman of our acquaintance who has a lot to say about the economy says he "wants" to read Knowledge and Power, but he doesn't have time "right now". Too many hearings, meetings, reports, speeches, phone calls......
He should: Read the book.