Monday, January 11, 2010

Will Books Become a Blickensderfer #5?

This is my Blickensderfer #5 typewriter. It was made in 1891.  Cool eh?  I got it off eBay about 15 years ago because I knew typewriters weren't going to be made anymore. Computers were readily available by then. I worked at Gateway Computers through the 90's and knew everything was thrown into warp speed technologically the minute I stepped into training.  I've looked at typewriters with a little bit of longing since then.  I liked the click click clack sound of them and I enjoyed seeing my father type up invoices in his rapid hunt n peck style.  And who didn't enjoy a whiff of white out every now and then?

Now however, it was recently announced that for the first time in history, digital books have outsold paperbooks.  Wow and aaawww.   Kim, a dear artist friend of mine, has been listening to books on tape for over two decades now. Even then I thought... "what if we all listented to books on tape?" There'd be no need for paper bound books.   So now, as the new flexible e-reader is on deck, the new Tablet is about to roll out and Kindle is already in the marketplace for e-book everwhere.   So really, besides nostalgia and books being sexy, why have a hardbound paper book?  Are they going to be bought to sit on shelves as decoration... like my Blickensderfer #5? 

Here's a great article from PC World about the Consumer Elecontronic Show called  5 BIG TECH TRENDS.    If you're not into technology and how it affects us each day... it might be a hard subject to wrap your head around.  However, the article is an easy read and maybe it will spark a little interest you didn't realize you had.  If you're there already... ENJOY!

What's next, do you think?  I saw a new game called MINDFLEX by Mattel that allows the user to move a ping pong ball through a hoop... in the air... using your mind.   OMG!   Again, this is by Mattel, the kids toy manufacturer!  I know!  However, it looks strangley like a Harry Potter game also produced by Mattel 5 years earlier.  5 Years earlier???   Where have I been?   I have an 11 and 7 year old.  We love Harry Potter. How did we miss this product?  Granted, I played with firecrackers as a kid and I turned out alright, but this might have set my course in life in a different direction. 

Go read a book... in whatever manner your heart or pocketbook desires!  I'm currently reading Malcolm Gladwell's What the Dog Saw (new $27.99 or on Kindle $7.49 see a trend?) and I am always open for suggestions.  Bring 'em on!


Dena Sneed said...

NOOOOOOO... I will always have books on my shelf! I love to lay in bed and crack open a new book, hold it, feel the pages. Sometimes I highlight (and I know you can do that on a Kindle, but it just doesn't FEEL the same). And what about children's books? With those beautiful illustrations?! (Not to mention my husband's livelihood!) You just can't experience that with an electronic book. I am all about progress and technology, but I hope I can ALWAYS buy a book.

BTW, I just finished The Help, by Kathryn Stockett... EXCELLENT!

Alexis Ceule said...

Oh Dena, I agree! I highlight all my books, which really makes them personal to me. I love them in my bookshelves too. Maybe, and perhaps we can push for this, that children's books will be available for many many many more decades to come. I have my favorite books... and my parents still have them and adore them because I loved them so much. *sniff*... I'm gonna cry. LOL!
Thanks for the book recommendation as well. Awesome!

Jennifer Roe said...

Even if you put aside the aesthetic of picking up a book, highlighting it, laying in bed with your kids lovingly going over delicious illustrations, I think a kindle-like product has a long way to go before.

With a $250 price tag ($500 if you want one with a screen size that approximates a paperback) the Kindle is still a toy for those with disposable income.

I hope our community always values the social investment of a free, public library, where there's virtually no cost to going in and getting a big armload of books.

We are "library people," I'm a member of the JoCo Friends of the Library, and think it's one of the greatest assets of our society.

I certainly see the advantage of a slim little device for travelers, but that's about it.

Foz the Hook said...

Will books go the way of the typewriter?

I think you answered your own question. Books are sexy. Signed books are more sexy. Books inscribed to you on Christmas by your Mother are disturbingly sexy. Old books are very sexy. Antiquarian books are kinky.

I don't need another reason to decorate every wall with stuffed book cases.


Alexis Ceule said...

Skap... that was the sexiest comment I've ever recieved. XOXOXOX