Mall shows by artists and celebrities are a big thing in our country, aren’t they?
We would even force our way through a crowd just to get a very close look at our favorite artists whom we only see on TV.
While we celebrate seeing them, they thank us, their fans, for our overwhelming support (and to promote a new show of theirs) and even sing to us, even when some of them can’t really sing.
Value: entertainment for one to two hours. But, at least now we know how they actually look like in real person.
On the other hand, we rarely see book tours by our favorite local authors. Not because they don’t like going on book tours, but because the market is not ready for them. The free economy simply works that way. Give people what they want. Sadly, it’s not the book tour.
It’s a cultural thing. (Or is it a global thing?) We would rather be entertained than be educated. We would rather be entertained than be inspired or challenged to improve ourselves. We would rather be sang to for a good hour or two than learn something that can change our perspectives for the rest of our lives.
Don’t get me wrong. If Jason Mraz were to go on a mall tour, even I would squeeze myself in the crowd to get a closer look at him (and give him a hand-written note). But, I would also be there if Seth Godin were to come here and promote his book.
Maybe it’s time to change the culture. Because really, we like choosing things that have no lasting value. No wonder we remain stuck.
We celebrate entertainment more than we celebrate bright ideas. Don’t worry. Authors nowadays know how to make their ideas entertaining.