I’m not sure yet what I mean, but I know that I mean it.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the future of printed books…no solid answers have been forthcoming, but I haven’t been liking how I feel. Before you dismiss me out of hand, let me say I am no Luddite. I won’t buy the first version of some new technology only because I don’t want pay to work out the bugs for a huge corporation, but if it’s convenient and gives me more choice, I’ll hop on board pretty quickly. And I’m not much for sticking with something just because that’s how it’s done; nostalgia is like alcohol – a little bit is fun and possibly healthy, but too much makes you the person who doesn’t get invited to the next party.

Music, movies, TV – the switch to a digital distribution stream has been fine for me, but books are a different story. Damn it, I thought writing this down would help me put some shape around my emotions, but it’s not helping yet…

Brainstorm (sentence fragments ahead)! Books are solid. Real. Permanent in a way that words on a screen are not. Amazon is benign now, but if they are the only game in town, how long would they stay that way? I like having books in my house – it makes me feel happy to just look at them. Libraries and book stores are AWESOME – I hate to think of living in a culture that doesn’t have them. Books frequently change the world and then stick around afterward to talk about what happened…long story short, I think we would lose more than we can envision right now if knowledge is just transmitted via a screen. I know that it won’t happen tomorrow, or even in five years, but I have an icky feeling about it…

Ok. I got most of it out. A few disclaimers: I work in Publishing. I personally feed the beast – I make sure files get to Amazon so you can read neat things on your Kindle. I have a Kindle, and I like it. But not as much as a book.

So, getting to the point of why I’m ranting about this on THIS blog…for The Global Reader, I’m going to stick with print as much as I can. I’m going to buy from local bookstores first, chain bookstores second, go to the library when needed, and try to steer clear of Amazon when at all possible. So there’s my thumb in your eye, Mr. Relentless Tide of Progress.

4 thoughts on “I’m not sure yet what I mean, but I know that I mean it.

  1. Annette October 14, 2014 / 10:41 am

    Someone told me once that a physical book actually retains an emotional imprint from every person who has read it. I don’t know if that’s true, but it would help to explain the fact that I get more emotional response from a real book.

    That said, the techie side has its place! I prefer my kindle when I’m traveling, or reading a really huge book, or reading something I don’t want people to know I’m reading 🙂

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