I must take issue with the doom-and-gloom tone of Leonard Foster’s Aug. 8 letter “With Vidal’s passing, another step away from eminence of books.” No doubt he and I share similar concerns over the prominence of e-readers and E.L. James, but I can assure him that, along with other twenty-somethings, I still read the likes of Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, and Norman Mailer (though we may doubt Mailer’s status as “serious”). Take another look at best-seller lists and you’ll see Hilary Mantel right up there.
In addition, the notion that graphic media have anything to do with fewer young people reading is preposterous. To my 14-year-old mind, Vidal's “Kalki” was so engrossing because it brought to mind many of the subjects readers of graphic novels may be very familiar with, such as America’s obsession with religion and apocalypse, Vietnam and chemical weapons, and a frenzied media.
I challenge Foster to read something like Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” or Norio Nanjo’s “Shigurui” and try to say with a straight face that they aren’t serious.