Monday, July 14, 2008

The eminent wisdom of Nick Hornby on e-books, also, Jesse Jackson is going to cut your nuts off

Hi guys.

So, when faced with the task of telling you about either:

A) Last Saturday night, in which I drunkenly gave a "shout-out" live on Hot 93.3 FM to R., Kim, several other people standing around me at Sky Lounge, and lastly to myself (as in, a shout-out from Tolly, to Tolly, all on the radio, and yes I've always wanted to get a "shout-out," never have, so I took matters into my own hands, thank you very much and thank you, DJ Boogie!), OR,

B) The state of the electronic book industry,

I decided I'd skip both and make a compromise: I'll let Nick Hornby tell you about the state of the electronic book industry! Oh just sit back down. I'll also include a brief aside into Jesse Jackson cutting people's nuts off. Happy?

Alright, so I work with books for a living. That being said, I have been vaguely curious about Amazon's dogged commitment to their new invention, the Kindle, which is sort of like an iPod for books. Here's what it looks like:

There are other models from other companies, too - but it's all the same idea. An electronic device you can download e-books, newspapers, magazines, etc. onto. Would you ever buy this? (Those of you who read, I mean?) Well, Nick Hornby decidedly will not:

"There is currently much consternation in the book industry about the future of the conventional book, but my suspicion is that it will prove to be more tenacious than the CD, for the following reasons:
1) Readers of books like books, whereas music fans never had much affection for CDs. Vinyl yes, CDs no. They are too small for interesting cover art and legible lyrics, the cases break easily, and despite all promises to the contrary, they are extremely easy to break and scratch. Books have remained consistently lovable for several hundred years now. For readers, a wall lined with books is as attractive as any art we could afford to put up there.
2) Ebook readers have a couple of disadvantages when compared to MP3 players. The first is that, when we bought our iPods, we already owned the music to put on it; none of us owns ebooks, however. The second is that so far, Apple is uninterested in designing an ebook reader, which means that they don’t look very cool.
3) We don’t buy many books – seven per person per year, a couple of which, we must assume, are presents for other people.
4) Book lovers are always late adaptors, and generally suspicious of new technology."

Read the rest here.

Gospel, right?

Nick makes strong points especially about books being lovable - an old, beat-up copy of Catcher in the Rye is 50 times more magical than a PDF file of the same, no?- and book lovers being late adaptors. Think about it: how many of you (again, those who read) own both a tall, fully-stocked bookcase, as well as a Wii Fit? Exactly. Two different demographics. Book lovers pride ourselves on the appearance of having classic tastes of which cutting-edge gadgets tend to not be a part. We are also lazier.

Switching subjects violently - you know who's not lazy? Jesse Jackson, damn!

I saw the clip like you did, guys - Jesse whispering about Barack talking down to black voters - but I caught on late and just now TODAY saw/heard the cutting off nuts part. Reverend, sir! Jesus would hardly condone that behavior. What would, in fact, he do? Spare Barack's nuts!

I'm sorry...I'm still laughing about this. Mostly because R. just asked, "You think he'll actually do it?"


Anthony said...

"4) Book lovers are always late adaptors, and generally suspicious of new technology."

Yah, you are right! I agree on that ^^ haha... said...

"Readers of books like books"
Thats very simple word,,,, With alot of meanings
I really liked your way of writing
Thanks for your article

Breanna said...

It's like Nick Hornby reached into my brain and picked out my precise thoughts and worded them perfectly.

He has GOT to stop doing that. I'm going to have to start asking for residuals.