In his recent post on leaving True/Slant, Mark Dery quotes Weschler describing non-fiction as:
“pieces you might curl into, of an evening, having no prior notion that you could even become remotely interested in their subject, and through the sheer narrative energy of the writing, you’d find yourself becoming caught and then held, completely immersed, lost to the world for hours at a time…”
I have never read a more fitting description of this phenomenon. (It also gives me a great come-back for when I am hassled about having spent hours online reading anything and everything about the Battle of Thermopylae, nudibranchs, radio valves or whatever has recently swept me away.)
Mark Dery‘s post brilliantly argues for writers who “care about words” writing for people, rather than content creation for Google bots. More about this in Scott Rosenberg’s piece on Google News.