Thursday, April 23, 2009

Uranium Tipped Arrows

I was reading about how technology is displacing so many traditional industries like newspapers, books, book stores, libraries - the list goes on. It's like Cupid is shooting depleted-uranium tipped arrows to improve penetration he loves us sooo much. Technology is becoming a curse, not a cure. Don't you think it's ironic that our soldiers in Afghanistan are being badly damaged by their own ammunition, just being near the stuff – sad as it may seem.

Focusing more in the literary vein, there is a lot of buzz about electronic readers blowing paper products out of the water. Sit down you tree huggers and stop screaming, yippee. Listen, the toxic disposal of electronic equipment is much scarier than the loss of a replenishable tree. But the combination of technology paradigm shifts and the effects of a down economy are taking a toll on traditional media. What would you do without paperback books, that warm fuzzy pulp that lines your shelves?

The tsunami of Kindle readers forming a wave on your beach is not far off. As a writer, I really don’t care, as long as my books are read by someone, somehow. But what’ hurts is the impact to the stores. I don’t want my whole life to be online. That’s resigning to solitary confinement in your own home. I like the smell of Starbuck coffee in the air when I run my fingers down a row of books, looking for the next in a series from my favorite author. I want to read a flap or two, ruffle the pages, smell the paper dust, and gaze at the cool artwork on the cover. My advice is to buy a used book store now and start storing up. People are going to go nuts for the antique known as a book.

I envision disposable book readers. You buy them from a vending machine, read the eBook, and recycle it when you’re done. Technology is the great leveler of anything that gets in its way.

John Wolf

No comments: