Quotes on time spent reading

What writers and others say

Quotes on time spent reading

How long is too long? A short story is one that can be read in one sitting, said Edgar Allen Poe. Photo by Paul Bence

“I must admit I haven’t read it. It’s over five hundred pages long, which is a mistake — any defamatory work ought to be readable in half an hour.”
— Umberto Eco, author, in The Prague Cemetery

“Welcome to the Post-Literate Era — a period that began decades ago, but which has gained momentum in the 21st century. The evidence is everywhere: we can even draw the graph of sustained attention, from a 19th-century reader willing to read David Copperfield over several weeks, to long-copy magazine ads of our grandparents’ generation, to webpages that are granted 4.5 seconds to show themselves relevant, and ultimately to Twitter’s 140-character limit.”
— Bob Killian, branding guru, Killian Branding

“The question I always ask executives is: ‘If someone calls you on the phone, how long do you give them to tell you what they want?’ Usually the answer is, ‘Less than a minute.’ Then why do these execs think someone would give them more than a minute of their time, wading through a press release? Grab the audience’s attention, spur them to action, then let them go. Put the fluff into a long version of the release you hang on your website, if you have to.”
— Mike Pierson, chief, Community Outreach at Air Force Space Command

“A short story is one that can be read in one sitting.”
— Edgar Allan Poe, American author, poet, editor and literary critic, in his 1846 essay “Thomas Le Moineau (Le Moile)”

“If I am to speak for ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.”
— Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States
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