Monday, December 07, 2009

Yelling at books

One of you emailed me a funny story about seeing someone reading my book in public and, every so often, turning the book around and shouting questions and comments at my author's photo. I found this story inspiring because it suggests that physical copies of books might have a future. With digital book readers, you can't scream at the author's photo or throw the book against the wall.

And thank you to each and every one of you who has interacted in my book in a deeply physical way, even if you wound up flinging it out of a window, pelting people with advanced-review copies, using it for kindling, etc. Long live books unplugged!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothing will ever take the place of the feel of that book in your hands...no Kindle, no nothing. It's like trying to replace a human being with a robot...not a chance. I love the cover, the layout the author's picture, and everything on paper.

cactuseaters said...

Bravo! I couldn't have said it better myself. I think that the Kindle has one big thing going for it, and that is when you are trapped on the tarmac on an airplane for six hours and you suddenly think, "Wow, if only I had a copy of Portnoy's Complaint right now!'' I like the fact that people can zap books to themselves even if they are far from a store or library. But there is something tactile and soulful about actual books that can never be replaced -- and quite a few books that simply would not work in an electronic format. Take, for example, Maira Kalman's Principles of Uncertainty, which has a visual element that would probably be lost in an electronic format.

52 Hikes said...

I love books and don't foresee using a Kindle-like device for reading them but I can see the advantages of Kindle. I routinely watch movies on my 13-inch MacBook and it does not compare to the theater experience but it works in some situations. It's just one more format and offers an alternative to consumers.

cactuseaters said...

I agree that there are certain situations that make it pretty hard to get the 'hard copy' version in your hands. let's just hope that these formats can co-exist.