Books. Are you a reader who prefers the tangible or the virtual? Perhaps the smell and weight of a paper book is the only way you enjoy, or can imagine, reading. Perhaps the tiny, shiny LED phone screen hurts your eyes, or perhaps the idea of squinting to read a book on screen goes against all you hold dear about the magic of books. Of course, you are reading this blog on screen, so why not a book?
I say pish posh. There is room for it all.
In the beginning, exposure excels and propels. In the middle, content counts and sustains. At the end, what does it matter as long as the writing is as big as it can be?
Technology Strikes Again
I have been reading a lot about the E-book publishing business, the war between Amazon and Hatchette, and articles about authors who have become either dissenters or supporters of Amazon. Many industries and business sectors are impacted, both positively and negatively, by technological advances; the book publishing industry is just one of the latest being debated.
I love technology, I embrace it in my everyday life: this distance ed Masters program would not be as enriching or useful without the internet, the software company that pays my salary would not exist, and without technology I would not be able to fly to London in only 2 hours (although I’d like to go to Bordeaux).
Flying Through the Air
My writing (and waking) life is dominated by megabytes and gigabytes. Where I live, just outside of Stockholm, I have the biggest possible 4G WiFi data plan, 80 gigabytes a month, and it is not always enough. I also have a small plan for my phone, only 2 gigs a month (half of which is eaten up by app updates). It is all about uploading, downloading and transmitting radio waves, 1’s and 0’s back and forth, up and down, in and out. All in the name of art.
Imagine this. Thoughts in my head are turned into electrical synapses, which fly down from my brain to my finger tips, where I magically type them on the keyboard, from where more electrical stuff happens to temporarily “stick” the letters to the monitor.
When I click Publish, my words and thoughts, previously hidden in my mushy grey brain, are converted from 1’s and 0’s into radio waves. Up into the sky, bouncing off the airplanes on their way to London, my little words scream and stream from point to point until reaching the WordPress servers. In a few seconds, after some more squelching and scrunching, my little words are available to the world.
No matter how easy it is for someone to publish to the web, to churn out a substandard E-book, it does not matter as long as readers keep reading. There are physical books with substandard content; some poor authors make a lot of money, some richly-worded writers are poor.
Ask this question the next time you read or write something. Do you value it? Are your thoughts changed because of it? Does how these words reached your brain matter? No, because there is room for all the big words.