Pardon the hiatus, there, but what can I say, it's August. Rhian read my novel draft and spent two days telling me what's wrong with it--that deserves a ten-day blogging break, right? Actually, she saved the thing--I was going to feed it to the hens. She is now preparing a monster post on something or other, brace yourselves.
Meanwhile, the forces of gadgetism were out in strength. Our old advocate for arbitrary, profit-generating change, Nicholas Negroponte, gave the physical book five years to live.
One rolls one's eyes. One palms one's face. But seriously now--could he be right? I myself personally have bought about half a dozen e-books this year, and despite my ongoing love affair with the iPad, the experience was inferior to that of reading a paper book in pretty much every way. Maybe I'm weird, though. The only Kindle I've logged any time with didn't impress me either, though I did see a lot of them at the Jersey Shore this year. (I am tempted to drop a benjamin and a couple of tommyjeffs on the new edition, Just To See.) Maybe people are really digging this stuff. I don't buy CDs anymore--perhaps books are like CDs, for most people.
And furthermore, even if he is right, do we care? The writer in me doesn't, but the reader in me certainly does. Rhian's guess: hardcovers and textbooks will die, paperbacks will soldier on indefinitely. Vinyl, after all, is still readily available, and I'm even still shooting film (or will be when I get around to ordering more stop bath).
The one thing I am certain I would like to see die is the public declaring of the impending death of stuff. But that's one thing I suspect is immortal.