Sunday, December 27, 2009

Signs of the Apocalypse: 18. The Kindle

Note: this begins a series of semi-regular posts on "Signs of the Apocalypse," or evidence that the world (or at least parts of my world) is tilting toward self-immolation. Feel free to contribute your own signs or comments. They are in no particular rank or order.

18. The Kindle: I realize this may be a controversial selection. I know a lot of smart, book-loving people who love their Kindles; and this may actually be the real problem here--all those smart people who normally buy books now buying a Kindle and downloading files. Because, sadly publishing is a market driven industry, the more the market demands with their wallets that their "books" be published in electronic format so they can be read on a Kindle, the more the industry will work to end books as we've come to know and love them for centuries. Scary, huh? I think so. Call me anachronistic, but I love books. You can't crack the spine of a Kindle and smell that new-book smell (not yet, at least, though I'm sure that's coming). As a writer (artist?), I'm interested in making objects. Things in the world. Books. Something unique and special and made of paper that people can hold in their hands and share with other people. Can you share a Kindle? As The Day After taught us, the electro-magnetic pulse from the first bombs will disable all electronic devices. But I'll be there with my boxes of books, reading to pass the time and, if you're nice, maybe I'll let you borrow one. Maybe libraries will be the entertainment centers of the post-apocalyptic world . . . now that I think about it, maybe we NEED the bomb to save books from the Kindle.

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