Seth Godin on books, culture and influence

For five-hundred years, books have mattered.

Books have never reached the preponderance of people because there are just so many different titles. It’s possible for a movie to be seen by twenty or thirty million people. It’s likely that a national TV show could be seen by almost as many on a regular basis.

But a book? If a book sells two million copies it’s a gasp-inducing home-run. Five million is virtually unheard of these days. So books don’t have mass appeal per title.

But who reads books? Who buys books? Who talks about books? The answer to that question is largely, people who influence the culture. People who start and maintain conversations. You might not have read The Atkins Diet, but if you’ve ever touched anything that’s labeled ‘keto,’ it’s because someone wrote a book.

Books can influence which movies get made, which TV shows get made, but mostly what they’re able to do – particularly non-fiction books – is change the conversation.

Seth GodinAkimbo: The New York Times Bestseller List

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