How does the internet change any of that? The media of communication is evolving away from print, but I don't see how the method of delivery should effect how the reader deals with the information consumed. Weird. The internet makes thanking the author more likely and easily accomplished.The bond between book reader and book writer has always been a tightly symbiotic one, a means of intellectual and artistic cross-fertilization. The words of the writer act as a catalyst in the mind of the reader, inspiring new insights, associations, and perceptions, sometimes even epiphanies. And the very existence of the attentive, critical reader provides the spur for the writer’s work. It gives the author the confidence to explore new forms of expression, to blaze difficult and demanding paths of thought, to venture into uncharted and sometimes hazardous territory. “All great men have written proudly, nor cared to explain,” said Emerson. “They knew that the intelligent reader would come at last, and would thank them.” . .
But all old people? I so beg to differ. My dad is 79 and has recently embraced the internet (after avoiding it because he spent the last 35 years using computers to earn his living). He loves that he can access ideas from any realm of humanity and it's spurred him be more engaged in conversation with the younger members of the family. My mom overcame her frustration with it, navigation and the basics of how it works, long ago, so now they have lively more conversations as well.
The same is true of my in-laws and a dear older friend of mine, but unfortunately not of one of my other 70-something relatives. He refuses to have a computer believing they are some kind of plot and therefore he limits his intake of information to Fox. I'm not joking either.